Media Trust wins Best Charity Film at 2020 Third Sector Excellence Awards

Posted 8 October 2020

Media Trust won Best Charity Film at the Third Sector Excellence Awards for #WordsTakeYouPlaces, produced for children’s literacy charity Doorstep Library.

Doorstep Library are a children’s literacy charity who help families living in disadvantaged areas of London access the magic of reading. They came to us in 2018 for help with a film to support their #WordsTakeYouPlaces campaign, applying to be a Volunteers Film grantee. They wanted a film to bring their energetic projects to life in a way that text simply couldn’t. 

We helped match them with a volunteer director Michaela Lowe, who previously worked with broadcasters such as the BBC and MTV (and now works for Media Trust). Michaela, who has over 10 years’ worth of experience in TV and digital content, was ready to burst back onto the small screen after having a baby when Media Trust tapped her for the project. The film we made, which follows a family who are on a journey to bring reading into their home, ended up winning a Best Charity Film Award and going viral on social media (we still cry every time we watch it!) 

Media Trust’s Volunteer Films initiative is funded by various trusts and foundations including John Lyon’s Charity and City Bridge Trust. Doorstep Library was one of ten charities that Media Trust worked with last year thanks to funding support from John Lyon’s Charity.

Read Third Sector's coverage of the win

Watch #WordsTakeYouPlaces

An invaluable tool

Since the film was launched, Doorstep has significantly increased the support they receive and the reach of their work, expanding to 14 projects in 3 London boroughs. Recently Doorstep Library have been campaigning for more Government support to help young people recover from the devastating effects Covid has had on children’s learning and highlighting how reading can improve a child’s mental health tenfold.  

#WordsTakeYouPlaces has become an invaluable tool for Doorstep Library to increase their online presence and exposure. It’s also helped Media Trust demonstrate its capabilities to forge partnerships between small charities and media and creative industry volunteers looking to give back. 

The film has touched thousands of online viewers with over 2,500 views on YouTube, almost 1,000 likes and shares on social media. It also features in a myriad of different online spaces from corporate postings via the BBC and Grosvenor Property Group, to student newsletters at UCL. It was also awarded Silver in its category at the Charity Film Awards earlier this year.  

Media Trust continues to support charities and underrepresented communities across the UK by promoting their vital work through powerful storytelling, access to creative and digital expert volunteers and communications training programmes. Besides Volunteer Films, Media Trust also works with charities who have the budget to commission a short film to find appropriate directing and producing talent. 

Working closely with partners Media Trust, John Lyon’s Charity, Director Michaela Lowe and an amazing group of actors and crew, we have seen so much skill, commitment and passion. The finished film is beautifully shot and paints a truly heart-warming picture of one family’s journey with Doorstep Library and reading. We hope that watching it will inspire more people to join our growing team of volunteers, helping us to continue to reach those families who now more than ever, need our support.

Katie Bareham, Director of Doorstep Library

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