News archive - 2009

Read all the latest charity news on Community Newswire

December 2009

Alexandra BurkeThe Spirit of London Awards 2009 - Highlights on TV

Following the astonishing success of The Spirit Of London Awards 2009, highlights will be broadcast on the Community Channel on Monday at 9pm allowing all of you who attended to relive the glory and those who couldn't attend to witness the magic of positivity.

Watch singer Lemar and former Eastenders star Brooke Kinsella host a star-studded event celebrating young people from all walks of life whose common bond is London.

Hip-hop star Speech Debelle, winner of the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for the best British album of the year, performs alongside Diversity, winners of Britain's Got Talent as well as X Factor winner, Alexandra Burke.

The inaugural Spirit of London Awards 2009 — which is being shown exclusively on Community Channel — also features a special duet with former So Solid Crew rapper Ashley Walters and Robbie Craig supported by the ACM Gospel Choir.

The 90-minute show also includes interviews with Alexandra Burke, Sir Michael Caine, Diversity, actor Tamer Hassan, who starred in Dead Man Running, DJ Ironik, London Mayor Boris Johnson, Brooke Kinsella, X-Factor group JLS, Lemar and Ashley Walters.

Brooke Kinsella, whose 16-year-old brother, Ben was stabbed to death in Islington, north London, in 2008 whilst out celebrating his GCSEs, said: "I am so proud and honoured to be involved in an event such as the Spirit of London Awards.

"For a long time now, most teenagers have been unfairly getting a bad reputation for being troublemakers or violent when it is actually only a small minority. I have met some amazing kids on my own personal journey and their talent and goodness is represented by the outstanding winners of these awards this year. I hope this event will continue to grow and will inspire kids to choose a more positive path for their lives — one where they will be rewarded and recognised for their hard work, for many really do deserve it."

The awards ceremony, organised by the Damilola Taylor Trust, celebrates all that is good about the young people of London, and recognises those youngsters who are a credit to their local community and whose culture and heritage light up the City, whether they were born in London, or are adopted Londoners.

Winners were recognised in the following categories:

  • Community Champions aged 16-25
  • Young Heroes aged 5-16
  • Community Business Entrepreneur
  • Achievement Through Sport
  • Achievement Through Music
  • Achievement Through the Arts
  • Achievement Through Education
  • The London Legend Award – which was awarded to film star Sir Michael Caine
  • Positive Role Model of the year
  • Special Recognition

Mayor Boris Johnson said: "It's high time we praised the brilliant young people who make our city proud. You could be forgiven for thinking that all teenagers endlessly run riot and cause trouble, but in reality this is a tiny minority. Let's concentrate on the majority, the thousands of youngsters who are full of aspirations and achieving great things in the capital. This is the ethos of the Spirit of London Awards, which are the 'Oscars' for the talented youngsters in our communities. I met some of our brightest young stars at the event."

The Damilola Taylor Trust was set up after 10-year-old Damilola Taylor was stabbed to death on a council estate in Peckham, south London, in November 2000.  The Trust created the awards, in consultation with other youth organisations and partners, as a way of celebrating all that is good about young people of London, as opposed to focusing on the negative headline hogging stories, and instead show there are plenty of champions working hard in their local communities.

Damilola's father, Richard said: "18 months of hard work to bring the Spirit of London Awards to life paid off with the wonderful event that lit up the lives of so many fantastic young people. I can't thank the performers enough for their wonderful input and support in making the night such a fitting spectacle and I hope that the highlights show can bring joy to all that tune in to watch it on the aptly named Community Channel."

"The long-term objective is for the awards to become a standard that all young people will aspire to be involved with and gain recognition through," said Gary Trowsdale, Managing Director of the Damilola Taylor Trust. "The awards are therefore intended to deliver exactly what it says on the tin — The Spirit of London, encapsulated in its finest young people."

X Factor winner Alexandra Burke will be talking to LBC radio's Nick Ferrari on Monday (14 Dec) at 9.45am about the awards and The Spirit of London Awards will be broadcast on Community Channel on Monday 14 December at 9pm and repeated on Tuesday 29 December at 7.30am & 9pm

November 2009

Sophie Turner LaingSky Managing Director joins Media Trust Board

Sophie Turner Laing, Managing Director of Entertainment and News at Sky, is to join the Board of Trustees at communications charity, Media Trust with immediate effect.

Sophie is the latest addition to an impressive list of prominent people drawn from media and voluntary sectors including Dawn Airey, Chief Executive of Five, Rupert Howell, Managing Director, ITV Brand and Commercial, TV presenter Jon Snow, Director General of the BBC Mark Thompson, Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of the Prince's Trust, and Andy Duncan, previous Chief Executive of Channel 4.

Sophie has been Sky's Managing Director of Entertainment since April 2007. She has overall responsibility for Sky's entertainment and news portfolio, including Sky1, Sky2, Sky3, Sky Movies, Sky Box Office, Sky Arts, Sky Real Lives and Sky News. She also oversees the Sky Creative Agency, which looks after on-air promos and design, and Sky Network Planning.

Prior to joining Sky in 2003, Sophie was Vice-President of Broadcasting at Flextech Television for three years, before taking over as Controller of Programme Acquisition at the BBC. Sophie began her career at Henson International Television working on the Muppet Show and she then went on to co-found HIT Entertainment in 1989, a specialist distributor of children's and natural-history programming.

Sophie also sits on BAFTA's Board of Trustees, is the Chair of BAFTA's Commercial Committee, and is a Trustee of BAFTA Management Ltd. In addition to this she is Governor of the National Film & TV School as well as a Co-Opted Crew Member for Variety Club (UK).

On becoming a Trustee, Sophie said: "I'm very pleased to be joining the Board of Trustees.  This is undoubtedly an exciting time for Media Trust as charities have more opportunities to create and influence content. Media Trust is in the right place to be a real catalyst for new voices and stories."

Media Trust Chief Executive Caroline Diehl said: "We are delighted that Sophie is joining Media Trust's board. Sky has been a long and loyal supporter of Media Trust, and was the founding broadcast partner for Community Channel, launching the Channel on Sky in 2000. It will be a privilege to have someone with Sophie's experience and track record in television content and broadcast channels."

Tony Ball, Chairman of Kabel Deutschland will be stepping down from the Board of Trustees next year, following 9 years on the board.

Caroline Diehl said: "Our enormous thanks go to Tony Ball, who joined Media Trust when he was Chief Executive of BSkyB, for all his guidance and support over many years."

BAFTA Mediabox game - PuzzlesMediabox funded young people produce games with the help of BAFTA mentors

This year Mediabox partnered with BAFTA, through an extensive relationship with Media Trust, to give 10 disadvantaged young people aged 13-19 the opportunity to write, direct and create their own video game, under the guidance of industry professionals. Young people were asked to write a short synopsis of their idea inspired by an issue they were passionate about. The young people were then invited to a four-day gaming workshop, where they supported by mentors to guide and advise them through the games making process. The mentors were provided by BAFTA, through Media Trust’s Youth Mentoring Scheme.

Krishnendu Majumdar, Chair of BAFTA’s Learning and Events Committee, says; "BAFTA is thrilled to have worked with Mediabox on this fantastic project, and we are delighted to have been able to offer the young people unprecedented access to video games professionals, who we hope have inspired them through their skills-based support. The final games illustrate the talents, hard work and dedication of the young people involved.”

Watch some video walk throughs of the games on the Mediabox website.

VGo interviewing Gordon BrownWin My Vote Screening

This year, The Times partnered with Mediabox and Media Trust’s Community Channel to take V.Go, a 21 year old from a deprived area of Bristol, to the political party conferences.

He was given unprecedented access to the political arena and interviewed the Prime Minister, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Peter Mandelson and Boris Johnson, amongst many other leading figures. The Times followed him in a series of features and Media Trust documented his journey, was broadcast on Community Channel.

V.Go is one of over 12,000 young people who have benefited from Mediabox, which gives disadvantaged young people a voice.

Last week, James Harding hosted a special screening to thank all of those involved and to celebrate V.Go's achievements.

James Harding, Editor of The Times, said, "The Times is thrilled to have worked with Mediabox and the Community Channel on this fantastic project which gives talented young people unprecedented access to the political stage and our political leaders. Watching V.Go in action has been a real privilege. He interviewed, Peter Mandelson and Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Boris Johnson and I have been very impressed with his interviewing technique and direct questioning. He had clearly researched ahead of his interviews and this allowed him to get some very interesting information and great quotes from each of them. V.Go demonstrated many of the essential qualities of a good reporter."

V.Go said, "It’s hard to describe what I have been a part of and achieved, its been a real eye opener.  Something special has happened and I think that it's amazing that someone from my background has been allowed to do something like this. This is history in the making for me. I have so many hopes now and it has made me want to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way.  I wouldn’t have thought I had the necessary qualities to be a politician before this experience, I thought you had to come from a certain background. Now I think if you believe in yourself, you can become whatever you want. I am grateful to The Times, Mediabox and Community Channel for giving me this opportunity, it's a journey I'll never forget."

10:10 logoOctober 2009

We are delighted to say that we have hooked up with the 10:10 campaign  to help raise awareness of climate change, promote sustainable living and encourage everyone, from individuals to global corporations, to cut their carbon emissions by 10% during 2010.

As part of this initiative we are dedicating Community Channel’s programming schedule to environmental content during December. We will also be providing range of information and guidance aimed to promote sustainable living and encourage positive action to combat climate change as individuals and organisations by signing up to the 10:10 initiative.

Find out more about the Community Channel's environmental campaign and how you can get involved with 10:10.

Learning Revolution

This October we're running free training events as part of the Learning Revolution Festival, a month-long festival of informal adult learning, supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

The Festival celebrates everything that is good about learning for its own sake and raises awareness of the benefits that informal learning brings fro individuals, families, businesses and communities.

The Media Trust is providing taster sessions for people from local communities, campaigners, community organisations and groups to learn new skills that make immediate and long-lasting valuable changes to their work, to get their voices heard.

We’ve got a great selection of events for you to choose from, from full-day workshops teaching video-making and podcasting to document and promote community work, to a fast-paced full-day seminar helping community groups promote themselves cost-effectively online and through the media.

We’ll also be speedmatching community groups with media professionals looking to volunteer their time and knowledge, and running events developing community reporting and citizen journalism skills…

September 2009

The Marketing and Communications Needs of CharitiesMarketing Needs research report

We are delighted to launch a significant piece of research - Marketing and communication needs of charities - commissioned by us as part of the 'Marketing and Communcations' work-stream of Capacitybuilders Improving Support Services.

It provides a unique insight into the capacity and capability for marketing and communications amongst front line and support organisations of all sizes and sectors across England.

We hope that it will empower you, like us, to push these fundamental skills to the top of the third sector agenda and improve support given on the ground to charities in finding their voice and making it heard.

Download the full report here (3.68kB, PDF)

Candice interviewing Nick CleggMediabox beneficiaries report for The Times

Two Mediabox beneficiaries, young reporters V.Go and Candice from Bristol, are travelling to party conferences this year, reporting exclusively for The Times and Community Channel.

V.Go and Candice, who will be able to vote for the first time in the next general election, have been given the unique opportunity to get face-to-face with decision makers, enabling them to find out why their vote is so important and how politics relates to them. Candice has already grilled Nick Clegg at the recent Liberal Democrat's conference, asking him about issues that matter to her, including fair trade and education.

V.Go and Candice were selected for the task from the thousands of young people that Mediabox has helped since its launch in 2006. Mediabox is a fund that offers young people the chance to create their own media projects and get their voices heard, it is a DCSF fund.

You can watch the VGo and Candice’s journey to conferences in 'Win My Vote' on Community Channel at 8pm Tuesday October 27, Sky 539, Virgin 233, Freeview 87 or on the Community Channel website.

Photo: Paul Rodgers  for The Times

Reporting Human RightsNew Reporting Human Rights guide

Media Trust has launched Reporting Human Rights - a guide for journalists, supported by the Society of Editors, on how to report human rights effectively.
The guide includes practical information on the facts such as what rights are protected under the Human Rights Act and ten key things about human rights, and includes quotes and opinions from leading journalists and human rights organisations. Download the PDF report, and also our Reporting Poverty and Reporting Diversity reports.

"At last, a guide to the Human Rights Act that is both accessible and plain-speaking. It would be hard to exaggerate the depth of the media’s ignorance over just about everything to do with the Act. Through the use of headings, subheadings and a comprehensive contents section - is to use this guide as a ready reference resource." Jon Snow - Journalist and Channel 4 News broadcaster

BAFTA Youth MentoringBAFTA partnership with Youth Mentoring scheme

Media Trust's Youth Mentoring scheme continues to go from strength to strength and has reached more than 1,000 young people to date. In June last year we extended our scheme further by partnering with BAFTA to pilot its own Youth Mentoring programme in London. BAFTA members were invited to share their expert knowledge with young people working on a variety of media projects. Since the pilot launched, 29 BAFTA members have signed up to provide skills-based support to youth organisations across the capital. BAFTA members supported young people in getting their voices heard through some fabulous dramas, documentaries and campaigning films.

This month, BAFTA held a glittering showcase at its London headquarters to celebrate the achievements of the young people who took part. Krish Majumdar, Chair of BAFTA's Learning and Events Committee, and Caroline Diehl, Chief Executive of Media Trust, introduced proceedings to a packed audience. Young people joined their mentors at the event to see their films on the big screen and to discuss their experiences in creating them.

The programme has been a great success so far and we're now working with BAFTA to look at involving its members nationwide. See the BAFTA website for more information, pictures of the event and a film about the scheme.

Improving Support website launched

The new support resource for third sector organisation, Improving Support, has launched. The website is a comprehensive source of practical information and a community where advice, information and ideas can be shared.

Media Trust provides the Marketing and Communications stream of information on Improving Support, as well as the full Marketing Support section on this website, to help you improve your organisation's marketing with lots of useful advice and pointers.

August 2009

Marketing Support events underway

Media Trust have designed a full schedule of tailored, subsidised marketing and PR training events across the country. Numerous events have already taken place and the feedback so far has been fantastic.

Led by communications consultant Caroline Black MCIPR, the ‘Planning your PR activities’ courses examines many areas from pulling your PR strategy together step-by-step, setting your objectives, using PR as a communication tool, targeting your audiences and exercises to put what you learn into practice.

“An excellent interactive course that gave me lots to think about and take away.” Voluntary Organisations Development Agency (VODA) North East

“Pitched at the right level and quality delivery - full of tips, tools and practical advice.” Education Business Connections LTD, North East

“Very useful - I can apply a lot of this to my role.” National Energy Action (NEA)

The ‘Planning your marketing activities’ sessions take a closer look at the marketing mix, tools and techniques to perfect your organisation’s approach to marketing, analysis and how to achieve the goals that are set.

“Excellent day, just what I needed, thank you for all efforts!” Suffolk Local Infrastructure Partnership

There are still lots of events still to take place, with the schedule continuing until March 2010. See the Marketing Support section for more information.

Future Jobs Fund opportunities

Media Trust is looking to develop a new opportunity in partnership with The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that will provide additional media and communications support for third sector organisations.

Through Future Jobs Fund we aim to provide funded media, communications and digital media related jobs for long-term unemployed young people to help resource third sector organisations across England. We’re aiming to provide a support fee of £1,500 per young person to contribute towards the organisation's overhead costs, alongside mentoring, training and guidance for the young people.

If you’d like valuable additional marketing and communications resource in your organisation, please head here for more details and to express your interest.

Camera crewVolunteer Films funding available

Telling your story and that of the communities you work with through a film is one of the most powerful ways to get your message across.

Our Volunteer Films scheme is looking to support 25 small charities that would benefit from the production of a short film about their organisation's work.

The deadline for Series 5 applications has now passed, but we will be taking on production of a few more films as part of our second phase. So if you missed the first deadline, get your application form in quickly (before 1st September 09) for consideration.

The films are made specifically for each charity by professional filmmakers and production teams who volunteer their time and expertise. Find out how your charity can apply for this scheme.

July 2009

Marketing SupportMarketing Support events announced

Media Trust recently launched the Marketing Support section of the website, a new resource with lots of useful information and advice helping to make sense of the complicated topic that is marketing.

In addition, there is a full schedule of training around Planning your Marketing activities and Planning your PR activities, across England. Find out where the nearest Marketing Support/NSS events are taking place or speak to Helena Malcolm at Media Trust to find out more - 020 7217 3774 / - or book the events online.

These events are part of the improving support of the National Support Services (NSS) programme funded by Capacitybuilders. Media Trust is a lead agency of the marketing and communications workstream. For more information on these courses or NSS, please contact us on 020 7217 3772, email or visit the Marketing Support section of the website or the Improving Support website.

Meet the FutureMeet The Future month

This July sees the launch of 'Meet the Future' month, dedicating an entire month of programming to celebrate the creativity of young people up and down the country.

There will be a special month of programming on Community Channel showcasing documentaries, music videos and dramas made by talented teenagers, after a call-to-action was put out encouraging content submission.

‘Meet the Future’ month also ties in with SHINE week, which runs from 6 – 10 July. Tune into the channel to catch this special month of programming (available on Sky 539, Virgin TV 233 and Freeview 87).

June 2009

Sense logoDeafblind Awareness Week

From 22 - 28 June, Sense is supporting the international awareness week for the deafblind. During Deafblind Awareness Week, the focus is to give people an understanding of the deafblindness whilst also helping the deafblind.

Find out what Sense events are being planned to mark this week and experience the all-new interactive sensehub. There's information on how you and your organisation can get involved, whether it be by joining the 5km run in Leeds at the weekend or using some of Sense's fundraising suggestions.

In addition, to give those affected a voice, Sense have produced some short films to tell the story of five deafblind people. You can watch the inspiring deafblind videos here.

Jon SnowJon Snow Jon Snow talks volunteering and charities

Media Trust's deputy chairman Jon Snow has spoken to Third Sector about how getting skilled volunteers can help organisations in the trying economic climate.

In addition to Media Trust, Jon is involved with a number of other charities and at the Charity Trustee Networks annual lecture in London, he recommended hiring volunteers for their specific professional knowledge and expertise as a way of getting them interested in helping out a charity.

Speaking about an architect who has helped with the New Horizon Youth Centre that Jon works with, he said, "He didn't know he was a volunteer, but he comes in for about four minutes once a fortnight and it is like gold dust to us. Most people don't want to volunteer for charities because they think they would only look after old or unemployed people."

He also stressed the importance of having a strong web presence to get charities noticed. Read the full article on the Third Sector website.

Digital Mentors programme renamed Community Voices

Here’s a quick update on the progress of the digital programme so far. The big news is that we will be launching the programme with a new name: Community Voices.

The reason for the name change is that the approach to this project is all about empowering communities to get their voices heard - and this name sums it up well.

We're starting the research into the kind of communities and projects that will be prioritised, and this will provide us with a guide to help us begin appointing projects. It's not too late to register your interest - as a media volunteer or a pilot project - head to the Community Voices section to send us your details.

Heat logoSpeakers confirmed for ...Celebrity Support event

Media Trust's 'Attract and keep celebrity support' training seminar is coming up on Thursday 11 June and we have a stellar panel of speakers lined up to impart their knowledge on all things celebrity.

Chairing proceedings is Julian Beynon who is Breast Cancer Campaign's Celebrity Development Manager. He will be joined by broadcaster, writer and celebrity speaker Edwina Currie Jones, Heat Magazine's Assistant Features Editor Kay Ribeiro, GMTV producer Michelle de Leon, Red Cross's PR Manager David Piner and Wendy Bailey, celebrity agent, publicist and media professional.

The panel will be covering a variety of celebrity-related topics including finding the right celebrity for your charity, what motivates celebrities to get involved with causes, how their support could help you and how to maximise your publicity with the help of a celebrity affiliation.

If you are looking to expand your organisation's media coverage with celebrity support, this seminar could prove invaluable - and there are a few places still available. So to reserve your spot, book the 'Attract and keep celebrity support' online, call Nazan on 020 7217 3779 or email her on

Andy DuncanMore on the Media Trust event with Google

With belts tightening in tough times and more than 70% of the UK population being online, it’s vital that third sector organisations have a strong presence in the digital space. With 30% of the public’s leisure time spent online in 2008, it’s time to make the most of what the web has to offer.

Using the free tools and technologies available, organisations can increase site traffic and boost campaign donations. And by focusing on getting the basics right, organisations can ensure they are found and heard online.

Following last year’s Online & Inspired event, Media Trust is teaming up with Google again for the Online Insight & Intelligence event. As Google are the leaders in this field, the aim is to equip organisations with the knowledge and tools to gain the online edge.

Taking place on Thursday 4 June in front of an invited audience, speakers will share their expert advice and key tips for developing websites that work and fundraising online.

You’ll be able to follow the Media Trust Twitter during the day and there’ll be video highlights on the Media Trust website after the event.

May 2009

Guardian Charity Awards 2009 logoThe Guardian Charity Awards 2009 are announced

Details for the 17th annual Guardian Charity Awards have been confirmed. Sponsored by Media Trust and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the awards seek to recognise the important of small to medium sized charities operating in the UK.

David Brindle, Public Services Editor, The Guardian, said, “Smaller charities are often the backbone of their communities, keeping them engaged with pressing issues and acting as a vital support mechanism. The Charity Awards celebrate the achievements, resourcefulness and courage of hard working organisations that are often overlooked.”

Media Trust’s Chief Executive Caroline Diehl will on the judging panel along with Dame Suzi Leather, the chair of the Charity Commission, David Brindle, Chief Executive of the NCVO Stuart Etherington and charity representatives.

To submit an entry, please visit The Guardian Charity Awards 2009 website. The closing date is July 31 and winners will be announces at an awards ceremony in December. The winning charities receive a cheque for £1,000, a new PC, a half-day consultancy support free of charge (including follow-up support for up to six months) courtesy of NCVO’s consultancy service and a tailored package of media services from Media Trust.

Media Trust team up with Google for online event

Last year Media Trust collaborated with Google for the Online & Inspired event, so following on from the success of that, we're pleased to announce that we are doing another event with Google in June.

The Online Insight & Intelligence will be taking place at on Thursday 4 June where speakers will discuss how organisations can get the edge online with an invited audience.

More information will be announced soon, but find out some additional details and a variety of video, podcasts and guides from last year's event on the Google Online Insight & Intelligence page in our Training section.

Neil BoormanBranding guru confirmed for Media Trust event

Branding expert and youth culture commentator, Neil Boorman, will be speaking to charities at the Media Trust ‘Engaging with young people’ training event on Tuesday 9th June.

Following his success with Ctrl.Alt.Shift for Christian Aid - a user-generated, multi-platform activist magazine for disaffected young people - Neil will be advising charities on how they can harness the power of emotional branding to reach young people and engage them with their cause.

A well-informed expert on youth branding, Neil is the former editor-in-chief of youth magazine Sleazenation and writer of the hugely popular ‘Bonfire of the Brands’ book, which took a look at brand addiction in youth culture.

Neil will be sharing his wealth of experience about marketing and how young people interact with media to the ‘Engaging with young people’ event. He will be joined innovations consultant Jonathan Macdonald and Red Foundation’s Jamie Thomas who will be chairing on the session.

Baroness Andrews' Digital Mentors announcement

Here is an extract from Baroness Andrews talking about the launch of Digital Mentors at the NDI09 conference:

"I am really pleased to be able to formally announce a little more detail on a new Digital Mentors programme, a two-year nationwide programme in England jointly funded by my Department (CLG) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

We will be working with Media Trust to engage, equip and skill up those citizens who feel unheard or voiceless with the digital tools to express and exchange views on issues of relevance to them and to increase individual and community empowerment.

The scheme will provide funding for 26 grassroots groups throughout England from July 2009. It will also provide a further 40 grants to communities and individuals to work on specific digital media projects and provide comprehensive tools and resources for communities and community organisations of all sizes to increase engagement through digital media.

It is an exciting initiative that I would urge you to get involved with."

To learn more about the programme, head to the Digital Mentors section and you can read Baroness Andrews' speech on digital inclusion in its entirety.

Volunteers' Week 25th AnniversaryVolunteers' Week celebrates 25 years

This year's annual Volunteers' Week marks 25 years of celebrating the hard work of volunteers. Running from 1-7 June, the event recognises the time and commitment of 22 million people across the UK who give up their time to help others.

Throughout Volunteers' Week, there will be events to acknowledge the efforts of volunteers, plus opportunities for those who give up their time to share their stories. To get involved or find out more, see the Volunteers' Week website.

CLG Minister talks about digital inclusion

Communities & Local Government Minister Baroness Andrews gave a speech at the recent National Digital Inclusion 09 conference. Here she discussed the challenges of digital inclusion, why it is so important, social exclusion and good practice when it comes to developing digital initiatives.

In addition, she announced full details of the Digital Mentors programme and how the Media Trust/CLG initiative aims to help empower communities. Baroness Andrews' speech is now available to watch online, along with numerous other keynote speakers from NDI09.

To watch these, head to the NDI09 speeches' archive and scroll down to view Baroness Andrews' speech.

April 2009

New Digital Mentors programme

Digital Mentors aims to inspire, engage and support disadvantaged and isolated communities across England to get their voices heard through digital media.

Led by Media Trust, and running until March 2011, Digital Mentors will provide funding for 26 grassroots groups, alongside one major new initiative and a further 40 small grants for specific digital projects. Digital Mentors will also provide comprehensive tools and resources for communities and community organisations of all sizes to increase engagement through digital media.

Digital Communities is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

Digital Inclusion Conference 2009: Cross-government team to meet challenge of digital inclusion

Ministers from across Government will gather together at today (27 April 2009)’s national Digital Inclusion Conference 2009, to meet the challenge of digital inclusion head on.

Last week’s budget announced more money for broadband penetration and digital take-up as two key building blocks to take Britain out of recession. This week, Ministers will meet with delegates from across the public, private and third sectors to discuss how their departments – and Government as a whole – intend to make Britain digital, and ensure everyone gets the chance to make the most of new technologies at home, at work, at school, and in their everyday lives.

At last year’s Conference Paul Murphy MP made one of his first official speeches in his new role as Minister for Digital Inclusion. Since then this emerging policy area has changed significantly, alongside the technological, environmental and political landscape.

Paul Murphy explains: “Digital inclusion is now more than ever an economic imperative, and a key driver of 21st Century social justice. It has an important role to play in propelling businesses big and small through the slump, in creating a competitive economy for the future, in helping workers work, communities flourish and families thrive. Digital inclusion is about employment, about enabling enterprise, about education, culture, social policy and even health. It cuts across sectors, across government departments, and across politics.

“The Cabinet Committee on Digital Inclusion, which I chair, has been meeting regularly to help us formulate and plan joint action on this issue, and I’m delighted so many of my Ministerial colleagues will be part of this very important Conference. There have been some key developments since last year, both including and rounded up in our Delivering Digital Inclusion, an Action Plan for Consultation document. We had an enormous response to this thinking, and the results of the consultation are being published today. Notably, there was great support for the idea of an independent ‘Champion’ for Digital Inclusion, and while I can’t yet reveal who that will be, I look forward to doing so very shortly. This person, alongside a taskforce of experts, will help us across government and across sectors drive awareness of this issue, build a charter of actions, and rise to meet the challenge that digital inclusion now presents. We have to work together to make things happen and happen quickly, because as a nation we simply can’t afford to leave anyone on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

That notion is seconded by Lord Carter, whose Digital Britain interim report set out the Government’s vision of an economy and society where everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the opportunities of the digital age and no one is left behind. Speaking on the same platform for the first time, Lord Carter said: “For a truly digital Britain we need high-quality, wide-reaching networks; high-quality digital services and creative content; universal availability, and a population equipped with the skills and tools that enable them to make the most of the content and services available.

He added: “It’s vital we ensure that those who are currently digitally excluded do not become the new socially excluded. Which is why last week, the Budget confirmed our commitment to deliver a universal broadband service of 2Mbps to communities and businesses right across the UK. And this universality will be backed-up with support to improve citizens’ basic digital skills and promote take-up, to ensure that broadband adoption continues to grow along with the opportunities it offers.”

Digital inclusion is now very much a cross-government issue, and Communities and Local Government Minister Baroness Andrews is due to speak at the second day of the Conference tomorrow. She’ll talking about how digital inclusion is being addressed at a local level, and announcing details on the new Digital Mentors project.

Speaking ahead of the conference Baroness Andrews said: “Digital inclusion effects real people in real places, and often the only way to reach and engage the truly excluded is through local action, in local communities. This will be incredibly important as Government seeks to tackle this issue holistically, and at CLG we have already made considerable progress. We have developed of a number of delivery tools and initiatives that are already live and being put to good effect, and we continue to build on that work in order to better understand what we’re dealing with, better engage citizens, and make sure they have best digital tools and skills to work, socialise, discover and create.

“I’m particularly excited about the new two year Digital Mentors scheme I’ll be talking about in more detail tomorrow. This two year programme will focus on giving people a voice through new technologies, encouraging them to exchange views, express themselves, and engage with their communities. I’ve seen with my own eyes that this really works. And when it does so, it changes lives. That’s what I - and my colleagues across Government - want to ensure we see more of.”

The National Digital Inclusion Conference 2009 is a Civic Agenda Conference in association with UK online centres, DC10 Plus, supported by Communities and Local Government, NHS Choices, Regenerateit, Yorkshire Forward, Intel, Ofcom, BT, Directgov, and Simply Digital.

Other Ministerial speakers include Schools Minister Jim Knight who will be giving an update on Home Access, Skills Minister Sion Simon will be discussing the Learning Revolution White Paper and Lord Bach from the Ministry of Justice discussing technology and the democratic process.

More information – including a full programme - can be found on the official site; and plenary speeches will be broadcast live at

March 2009

Media Trust has been awarded Digital Mentors contract

We are delighted to confirm that Media Trust has been awarded the contract to deliver Digital Mentors on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG). We will be formally launching details of the proposal with CLG shortly, however we are keen to hear from anyone who is interested in working with us. If you'd like to get involved, please email marking the subject of the email Digital Mentors and we'll keep you in touch with the progress!

Engaging ‘Hard-to-Reach’ Communities – One Day Conference led by Government, Third Sector, Media and Communications Professionals

Media Trust’s 2009 Spring Conference will open this year with a keynote speech by Kevin Brennan MP, Minister for Third Sector, as charities, public sector and corporate professionals gather to explore and share best practice around the issue of engaging ‘hard to reach’ communities and minority audiences.

Joining the Minister will be Lord Herman Ouseley, Jonathan MacDonald, Ogilvy, One Worldwide and Caroline Diehl MBE, Chief Executive, Media Trust, who will all deliver keynote speeches on the topic and challenge some of the traditional thinking on this subject.

Chaired by BBC Breakfast’s Susanna Reid, the conference will provide practical information and explore a range of communication strategies, tools and best practices that can help charities, public sector and corporate organisations looking to reach specific communities or under represented audiences.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to take part in workshops led by community, government and media professionals, who will explore best practice and guidance around topics including Digital Divide - What is the impact of digital media engagement with people in ‘hard to reach’ communities.

The conference will feature a panel debate examining the notion of ‘There’s no such thing as a ‘hard-to-reach’ community’ and questioning the tactics and thinking behind this concept.

Chaired by Esther Rantzen CBE, the panel will comprise of Peter Picton, Editor The Sun Online, Sandra Kerr, National Director of the Race for Opportunity Campaign, Business in the Community, James Bevan, Fairbridge and Patricia Macauley, Head of Cultural Diversity and COI.

Gavin Sheppard, Development Director, Media Trust, comments: "Against the current economic downturn, with tighter resources and a higher demand for services, there is enormous pressure on organisations across all sectors, to effectively target and reach certain priority groups.

"Media Trust’s conference will hear from a diverse range of organisations from The Co-operative Group, to Mencap, Scope and Learning and Skills Council, who have all employed a range of tactics and strategies to reach certain minority groups.

"The panel debate will take the very concept of ‘hard-to-reach’ and question whether this terminology is a valid or useful way of targeting and reaching certain communities or just the jargon of communication professionals."

Note to editors

Media Trust works in partnership with the media industry to build effective communications for the charity and voluntary sectors. It does this through media training seminars and workshops, film and TV production (Media Trust Productions), broadcasting (Community Channel), news distribution (Community Newswire), Media Matching and campaigns. Media Trust corporate members are BBC, BSkyB, Channel 4, Daily Mail and General Trust, Discovery Networks Europe, Disney Channel UK, Emap plc, Guardian Media Group, IPC Media, ITV, MTV Networks UK & Ireland, News International, Newsquest Media Group, OMD, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros, WPP Group.

About Engaging ‘Hard-to-Reach’ Communities

The conference is funded by the Office of the Third Sector (OTS). As part of the Cabinet Office, the OTS leads work across government to support the environment for a thriving third sector. The conference marks the end of the OTS Volunteering for All programme, which is focused on increasing volunteering amongst those at risk of social exclusion.

February 2009

Reporting poverty in the UKMedia Trust, Society of Editors and Joseph Rowntree Foundation partnership: Reporting Poverty in the UK tailored events

Media Trust's Bespoke training team has successfully delivered strategic events in the nations to launch the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's (JRF) Reporting poverty in the UK practical guide for journalists.

Download Reporting poverty in the UK, A practical guide for journalists.(PDF, 2.7Mb)

The Bespoke training team, who deliver tailored events and workshops to meet the needs of individuals and organisation, used their extensive contacts to bring together influential figures across the press, film, community media, academia, local government and the third sector.

Some prominent figures who were involved included Mark Easton (BBC Home Editor), Martin Wainwright (Guardian), and Liz Barclay (BBC Radio 4), William Crawley (BBC Northern Ireland) and Ruth Sully (BBC Cymru).

Liz Barclay, BBC Radio 4 who chaired the London launch said: "I know it probably sounds like a strange thing to say about an event at which we are discussing poverty but it really was an extremely exciting meeting. I think that was because we had a lot of people who were extremely committed to the whole issue of poverty from the media and from the third sector."

Third sector representatives who attended these events commented on the valuable opportunity to discuss their work and ideas with journalists and broadcasters directly. Each event featured working group sessions for the delegates which uncovered areas in which charities need help to improve their communications and raise awareness.

Lydia Frempong, Media Trust Business Development Manager who heads the Bespoke training services said: “Organising the Reporting Poverty events has been really exciting opportunity for Media Trust. It was a worthwhile event for the charities we work to help and an excellent chance for journalists and broadcasters to gain a better understanding of the third sector and how they can work better together to report important subjects such as poverty in the UK.

Frempong continues: "Facilitating the working groups has really highlighted the communication needs of the third sector for us. Many people who attended the events have since completed our training seminars and workshops to assist them in areas including New Media, press release writing and Media Interview Training.”

Teresa Hanley, Manager of Public Interest in Poverty Issues for Joseph Rowntree Foundation praised Media Trust and said: “The team has been a pleasure to work with and met the needs of the events. Lydia's good leadership and cheerful can-do attitude was outstanding."

For further information contact the Bespoke training team by phone 0207 217 3776 or email

January 2009

Mediabox, The Daily Mirror and Bebo's film competition workshops on 24th January

Winners of the YourFilm09 competition will be invited to an all expenses paid filmmaking workshop where they can be mentored by top media experts on Saturday 24th January 2009.

The 10 successful entrants to the YourFilm09 competition (that closed on 5th January) will also receive grants to create their films. When finished their work will be showcased on Charge on Community Channel, and social networking site Bebo.

Richard BlackwoodRichard Blackwoods' Mediabox has teamed up with the Daily Mirror and Bebo to launch YourFilm09 with the aim to encourage disadvantaged young people aged 13 to 19 to make films about issues that matter to them and to get their voices heard.

The Choice FM presenter, actor and Mediabox ambassador Richard Blackwood said: "This competition gives young people the chance to work with media experts; people who have been in the industry, know the pitfalls and are best placed to give guidance and encouragement. The media industry can be a complicated place at times, YourFilm09 gives young people rare access, advice and insight into how to make media work for you."

Conor Hanna, Daily Mirror deputy editor, said: "This competition represents a fantastic opportunity for young, undiscovered and talented filmmakers to come to the fore and fulfill their potential."

More information can be found at and fans of Richard Blackwood can watch him in a special vodcast about the competition.

Completed films will be broadcast on Charge on Community Channel Sky 539, Virgin TV 233 and Freeview 87.

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