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A message from our Chair, Bharti Patel

Updated: Feb 28

Welcome to the 2024 Global Girl Media UK Newsletter. I am honoured and delighted to have been given this opportunity to work with a diverse and talented team of trustees to support and help develop GGM UK's strategy, policies and plans. 

 

First, I would like to thank Victoria Bridges, co-founder and CEO, for her dedication to supporting young girls and non-binary people from diverse backgrounds aspiring to break into an often-white male-dominated media industry. My thanks to the co-founder and trustee, Sue Carpenter, who stepped down from her role after the successful film festival in 2023. Sue has made an enormous contribution, and we are grateful for her insight and counsel.

 

Breaking into the industry takes work. Recognising talent and potential and providing the proper training to build skills and confidence is necessary. Stories told from diverse voices have the power to change people's lives. 

 

GGM UK's board is diverse in age, experience, and leadership, coming from the media industry, civil society, the legal sector and graduates from our Summer Academy. The board, our CEO and volunteers have high aspirations. We are dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for every girl and young woman in our Summer Academy, to excel in telling stories from a diverse perspective - writing, reporting, broadcasting, podcasting and documentary filmmaking, leading to a career media in all its forms.

 

More than 100 young people have been trained in digital media skills. Many of our graduates have gone on to hold key roles in the industry - from Aisha Clarke, a freelance Producer in factual TV, to Dani Desouza, a senior social media journalist at the Press Association, and Lauren McGaun, a freelance editor at BBC News and Newsnight.

 

The GGM UK Film Festival allows young female filmmakers worldwide to showcase their short films and have them critiqued and judged for awards by a panel of leading media experts. The GGM UK Film Festival 2023 received nearly 200 films from young women in countries as far away as Iran, Nepal, Ukraine, and Puerto Rico. Fifty films were shown offline and online, reaching over 500 viewers. 

 

As the Chair with over twenty years of experience leading small and highly influential charities for the human rights of children, young people and vulnerable communities, I know charities' challenges. The balance of ensuring that there is sufficient funding to support our programmes and initiatives is an ongoing daily struggle. We must have long-term funding and regular donations to be more confident about our decisions and services. 

 

I'm proud to say that despite the challenging circumstances of needing more financial resources to provide our services and opportunities to the often-unheard communities, we have remained operational. We know we can do more to provide ongoing support and mentorship to the young girls. The generosity of our partners, collaborators, and sponsors has helped us meet our running costs - offering free digital media training and ongoing support, venue hire, technical equipment, food, and drinks. 

 

I invite you to explore potential ways to collaborate, build partnerships, and join young women's journey into digital media. With your expertise and support, we can make a difference in the lives of young girls and the media representation of diversity in storytelling. Feel free to contact me at patelbhartiis@gmail.com or the CEO, Victoria Bridges, at tor@globalgirlmedia.org. We would be happy to give you more information about how you can help.


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Author: Bharti Patel, She/her

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