When I retired as GTC Chairman, I was pleased to take on a new role as Welfare Officer.
We are all lucky enough to work in a very privileged industry and the GTC's welfare activities allow us to put some of those privileges back into society. Below, arranged in alphabetical order, is information about the organisations supported by GTC members.
Do get in touch with me, if you would like to know more.
If you work, or have worked in the Film or Television industry, the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) is there to help you.
Long famous for Glebelands, the retirement village for film and TV workers, the CTBF does much more as well, helping with unemployment, illness, accidents and bereavement. Naturally, we all hope that we will never need their help, but they are there to support us all. Read more about the CTBF in Zerb.
CTBF also offers a National Care Plan which helps with discounted care for over-55s in Anchor care homes around the country. See more.
GTC members may like to know that they can help with CTBF's fundraising activities. There are lots of fun ways to get involved, so do spend a couple of moments by going to Its website: www.ctbf.co.uk
Once a year, 192 deserving children from all over the UK, accompanied by a team of medical carers, board a chartered Boeing 747 and head to Florida for 10 magical days of fun and excitement. Many children could not undertake such a trip without the support of the army of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and non-medical volunteers who care for the children 24 hours a day. Each year, cameramen get together to support the activity by shooting a souvenir video for the children. They go out on the flight, and also work as supporters.
Dreamflight is not just a holiday. The children leave their families behind, giving them an opportunity to discover independence, confidence, and a whole new outlook on life. Often for the first time, these children realise that they are not alone, and they are not the odd ones out. They see children around them who have also suffered, they gain perspective, and experience things they never thought possible.
Dreamflight children have gone on to amazing achievements. In 2008, eight of the returning Paralympians from Beijing, many of them medal-winning, had been Dreamflight children, citing the trip as a turning point for them.
Dreamflight, which has operated every year since 1987, believes that fun and joy are just as important as medical research and equipment – especially for children who perhaps can't wait long enough for the breakthrough they need or whose illnesses and treatments have brought pain, distress and disruption to their lives. Dreamflight does something that medicine can't.
"Dreamflight has taught me a lot of things. One is to never let your illness put you down, always look on the bright side of life, and remember there is always someone out there who is worse off than you. I am now more confident in myself. Dreamflight wasn't the place we went, it was the atmosphere and the happiness. I will never forget any of you."
A Dreamflight Child
Several GTC members (including past Chairman Graeme McAlpine) have helped out in the past, and John Tye collected a GTC Award for the camera team in 2010.
Click here to read "Dreamflight: A film-maker's delight" published in Zerb, Spring 2010.
Gives charitable grants to freelance newsgatherers in need, and to the families of those who have been killed, injured or persecuted as a result of their work
Provides training bursaries to enable freelancers, who otherwise could not afford it, to undertake hostile environment training
Promotes good practice on behalf of freelancers working in the newsgathering industry and their right to work safely and in freedom
Provides information and advice on insurance, training, trauma counselling, safety and other issues to freelancers around the world
Raises the profile of freelance camerapeople in broadcast news and current affairs at the annual Rory Peck Awards
... So GTC members are in a win–win situation. The bursaries for freelance news gatherers are really very generous, allowing working cameramen to receive training which would normally be impossible unless you are working full-time for a broadcaster.They can also help cameramen and their families, should the worst happen.
See more about the work of The Rory Peck Trust at: www.rorypecktrust.org
Raise the Roof Kenya (RTRK), started by GTC member camerawoman and 3D stereographer Holly Bantleman, raises funds for projects to help young people in Kenya. The charity is supported by many cameramen and industry professionals who take part in fundraising activities and are frequently to be seen sporting the distinctive T-shirts on set or on location.
The charity's biggest project to date was to open the Barut development Centre, a trade school, community centre and sports ground for the people of Nakuru. More about the Barut project.
Throughout our lives, we grow through the experiences we have. Especially when we're young, we need to explore and discover a wide range of people, places and activities in order to flourish. We yearn for a little taste of freedom and independence. Right now, two million young people in the UK are living below the poverty line. Their parents and carers can't afford to give them the opportunities they need to play, learn and reach their full potential.
Every day in the UK, 70 children are born or diagnosed with a disability; this affects one in twenty children and their families. Because it costs three times as much to raise a disabled child, many of them will find it harder to make ends meet, let alone fund the kind of specialist help their child needs to live an independent life.
The Variety Club is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people who need some help. It does this by raising funds for specialist minibuses, wheelchairs, sports equipment, hospital wards, and all sorts of other practical solutions that enable individuals, projects and organisations across the UK to give a wider range of opportunities to the children in their care.
We chose the Variety Club because it has always been the industry's charity. Over many years, when Michael Samuelson was President, many of us worked as cameramen on Variety Club productions, and it was always an equal privilege to film the Duke of Edinburgh as it was to meet the fantastic children the organisation supports.
Now, we are pleased to be able to give GTC members the chance to work with the Variety Club once again. And, of course, you can help raise funds through the club's many events.
See more about the work of the Variety Club at: www.varietyclub.org.uk
There are several ways GTC members can support The Vision Charity. Vision needs volunteers to help with various fundraising activities and many of those activities are, in themselves, great fun. Take a look at their website for upcoming events:
The GTC will continue to give publicity to the charity's very worthy causes. By the way, a major sponsor of the charity is GTC sponsor company Vinten; although they are remarkably modest about this fact!
The Vision Charity was created in 1975 and celebrates over 35 years of fundraising for the benefit of blind and visually impaired children. Its foundation was the professional and corporate television industry, but since then it has broadened its reach beyond the Visual Communications Industries.
Its mission is to try and inject fun into the lives of the blind and visually impaired children it supports as well as to their families. It has succeeded in doing this through the support of an ever expanding support base of corporate, celebrity and individual sponsors. The charity's board is well connected, representing the worlds of broadcast, finance, private equity, venture capital, fashion retail, PR and marketing. It also maintains very close links with professional organisations including the Royal National Institute for the Blind, Sense, The Royal London Society for the Blind, The Royal National College – Hereford, Autism Independent and many others.
It actively works with its patrons, most notably the recent additions of David and Coraline Ginola, in the marketing efforts surrounding its various fundraising events, including the recent launch of a sports legacy fund initiative.
The primary aim is to raise money to provide access to facilities and equipment for blind and visually impaired children and this has enabled the provision of equipment including sensory rooms, the Katie Price playground at Dorton House School, as well as weekend breaks for the children and their families. Making life easier for this community of people is Vision's credo.
See more about the work of Vision at: www.visioncharity.co.uk
GTC Children in Need pictures For every picture submitted by a cameraman working on a Children in Need event on 21 November 2011, GTC members pledged to give £1 to Children in...