Capturing the Invaluable Contribution of Charity Volunteers

This week is ‘Volunteers’ Week’ when the UK celebrates the fantastic contribution volunteers make and it’s been great reading about the invaluable work of volunteers at charities up and down the country. Running for over thirty years, volunteers week showcases the powerful work of volunteers in so many causes and it also encourages more new recruits to gain the satisfaction of helping others in the community.

Inspiring Stories for Charity Harvest Campaign

The devastating famines of the 80’s in Ethiopia that sparked Band Aid and Live Aid seem like a distant memory – indeed for many (including our recent intern, Melissa) they precede their birth! However, despite ongoing aid, Ethiopia is still a country close to the edge – small changes in climate or the failure of rains still have the potential to have an overwhelming impact.

Charity Video Captures Smiles at Cancer Event

“I’ve been walking around with a great big smile on my face...”, not exactly the words you’d expect to hear from a cancer patient during a day dedicated to discussing the disease. This however, was a recurring theme that we heard whilst filming at a ‘Being Together Day’  - a flagship support event run by national charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

A Diamond in the Rough

Training with Urban Expression

Last week we held a training session with a few members of the Urban Expression team over at King’s Cross station.  They came to us wanting to learn more about cameras and filming so they could go out and create their own video for their trust. The group was taught everything from how to work a camera to how to set up and film a good interview.  On the first day of training, they were taught the technical side of the camera. We focused on camera basics like how to use a camera properly and what the camera controls mean.

I was so lonely before...

“I was so lonely before – I just lost myself. You don’t realise what life means to you”. Glancing round the room as we recorded the interview with Doris, I could see that a number of people were close to tears – as indeed was I! I’ve been volunteering for Contact the Elderly for almost a year now (see my earlier blog) and it’s been great to get to know the group and share stories with the older people – many of whom are cut off from society and rarely see people from one day to the next.

An emotional insight into homelessness

The biting February wind was rapidly chilling my fingers – making it hard to adjust the camera controls. With a slightly jokey moan, I mentioned this to Dave, whom we were filming. “Yep – although when you have this every day, you tend to stop noticing it, it doesn’t bother me.” Brought up sharp, I realised that this was a permanent reality for him, during the period when he was living on the streets. I stopped complaining after that and focused on the filming!

Inspiring Women

Having travelled fairly extensively through the developing world, filming for Purple Flame over the last 15 years, one of the constants I keep coming across is the importance of women in development. Often having to overcome cultural prejudice, many times seen as lower in society and having to battle for their rights, for education and recognition; the determination that so many women show in working for a better life for their family and community is inspirational.

Charity video training at All We Can


We’ve been running charity video training courses for many years now and have run several courses at CAFOD, Macmillan, Mission Aviation Fellowship and most recently at All We Can.

Filming communities in Ethiopia

Wrapping my scarf around my neck and zipping up my jacket, I prepared to wander across the compound to meet up with the rest of the team to discuss tomorrow’s filming. Only – this was not now in the UK at the start of December, but the first day on location in Ethiopia! I was prepared for the evenings to be a bit cooler – but this was positively cold!


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