Media Trust and Jack Petchey Foundation celebrate six strong years as they announce the close of Vlogstar Challenge

Posted 16 March 2022

Vlogstar Challenge, the annual vlog training and competition from Media Trust and powered by the Jack Petchey Foundation, is set to retire after six years of helping almost 10,000 16 to 25-year-olds in London and Essex find their voice and gain valuable media skills and contacts. 

The programme, which to date has trained 9,374 young people over 2,800 contact hours has seen programme participants create roughly 1500 impactful videos on topics that matter most to young people ranging from racism to transphobia, mental health to climate action. 

Over the last six years, the programme has engaged and worked with over 400 schools and youth organisations and arranged almost 500 film-making workshops for young people.  

According to Andrew South, Head of Youth at Media Trust: “Vlogstar has been a wonderful opportunity to support young people with a keen interest in content creation to make their voice heard on pressing societal issues, while gaining valuable multimedia skills and contacts along the way. 

“We are so proud of every single young person who has taken part in Vlogstar Challenge and are extremely grateful to the Jack Petchey Foundation for their funding support over the last six years.  

“We are sad to be closing the programme but given the fast-evolving digital landscape, we think this is the right moment to pause, reflect and develop new innovative programme formats and content ideas to engage and support today’s young content creators.  Watch this space!”  

Gemma Juma, CEO, Jack Petchey Foundation: “Vlogstar Challenge has reached so many young people over the last six years and given them the tools to tell their inspiring stories. We’re so proud of the programme and the platform it has given these young people, and we look forward to developing even more creative opportunities for young people across London and Essex in the future.” 

The current and final cycle of Vlogstar Challenge ended last week. This year’s winner was Suhaila, whose video ‘Dear…’ was about her life and living with scoliosis.  

Previous Vlogstar Challenge finalists have gone on to achieve success within the media and creative industry, including Raquel Taylor, a 2018 Vlogstar Challenge finalist who now works as an Assistant Producer at BBC Studios.  

There’s also Steph Santos, who entered the competition in 2020 and now works in social and video content creation for Hearst. Meanwhile Bella Roberts, our Vlogstar Challenge winner in 2019, is attending film school and has had a Barcroft TV documentary made about her life. 

Another notable and inspiring winner was 2017’s Isaac Harvey, who wanted to show other young people that you can do anything you put your mind to. Isaac has a form of limb hypoplasia, and edits his videos using his feet.  

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