Film will put city charity in spotlight

Streetwork fundraiser Jackie Brown helps at the Christmas dinner at the Sheraton

Streetwork fundraiser Jackie Brown helps at the Christmas dinner at the Sheraton

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A CHARITY that helps some of the Capital’s most vulnerable people stay off the streets has won the chance to work with top filmmakers to promote itself.

Homelessness charity Streetwork was selected to take part in the Media Trust and Sainsbury’s Untold Stories Scheme.

It will be twinned with a professional filmmaker to create a five-minute film, which will be presented by Jon Snow on TV’s Community Channel.

The charity is due to find out today who it will be working with. Among those already allocated to other charities in this year’s scheme are EastEnders and Waterloo Road director Julie Edwards, former Fox World UK head Jonathan Glazier, and Susan Luciani, who worked on the special effects for films including Gulliver’s Travels and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Fundraising and relationship manager for Streetwork, Jackie Brown, said: “We did a brand refresh last year which involved marketing literature and an updated website, but we had no money for a short film and I’d love to have something like that on our website and to use for presentations and talks.”

Streetwork, which yesterday held its traditional Christmas lunch, where service users were treated to a three-course meal cooked by Sheraton staff, made a contribution of £1000 towards the film.

Ms Brown said: “If we hadn’t been selected, we would never have done it. We don’t have the funds to do it and if we did have funds available we wouldn’t be spending it on that, we’d be spending it on services for users.

“Something like this is almost priceless – we would never be able to afford it.”

The charity hopes the film will raise public awareness of its work and encourage others to give.

Ms Brown added: “Because of the nature of our work we can’t really have service users in the film because we’re duty bound to protect them to some degree. It would involve a lot of schedules and they often have chaotic lifestyles, and also if somebody moves on, they may not want in the future to be associated with that time of their lives.”

Instead, she said, she hoped it would show staff in action as teams spend a total of 84 hours a week roaming the streets looking for people to help.

She said: “I think what it will hopefully do is bring to life the work that we do. We don’t wait on people to come to us – we go out to them. We’ve got all our staff out with rucksacks and we go out and find people.

“If there’s a shot of somebody wandering about in torrential Edinburgh rain with a rucksack looking for people that need help, that will hopefully make people realise the work we’re doing.”

Media Trust deputy chief executive Katie Lloyd said: “I think Streetwork, because of the work that they do, have some lovely stories to tell.”