Case Studies & Resources


Harnessing the power of film-making through COP TV

Culture partner | Scottish Youth Film Foundation

Business partner | Scottish Power


Community & social empowerment | Education & learning | Environment | Equality, diversity & inclusion | Young people  

Business and/or brand name awareness | Corporate social responsibility (CSR) | Creative development | Direct access to target audiences | Enjoyment | Image enhancement | Marketing | PR opportunities | Staff relations & development

 The project

With the COP 26 climate summit coming to Glasgow in November 2021, the Scottish Youth Film Foundation (SYFF) were able to recruit 12 young people as video journalists, and embed them as reporters through a COP TV initiative, thanks to sponsorship from energy giant ScottishPower and match funding from the C&BS Fund.

For the final five days of the conference, the young people were tasked with producing a one-hour show with live in-studio elements as well as pre-recorded material. In addition, SYFF pledged to work with young people from Impact Arts and Beacon Arts to produce short films about climate change in separate outreach projects.

The partnership

SYFF is charity that aims to improve the life outcomes of young Scots through film by delivering outreach projects in schools and providing pathways into creative industries. Support from The Sean Connery Foundation allows the charity to expand its activities in three important ways – film education in schools, film outreach projects that reach students in need, and the delivery of an annual Youth Film Festival. To successfully deliver COP TV, SYFF needed a business sponsor who would understand and support their vision, financially and practically. They approached ScottishPower, an organisation with a clear policy of clean energy production and one of the main sponsors of COP 26.

ScottishPower is committed to engaging in activities that have a positive impact on society, contribute to community-based organisations and support initiatives which help to address a range of wider issues in the communities. As Principal Partner for COP26, one of their key objectives was to strengthen customer and community connections throughout the UK and enhance their profile as a credible climate leader; they had also committed to supporting a number of the UK Government’s themes for the conference, one of which was ‘Youth and Climate Change’. The partnership enabled the business to provide direct funding to support the delivery of training and real-life skills for young people who otherwise would not have had access, leaving a positive legacy for the future.

The positive outcomes

Thanks to match funding from the C&BS Fund, the 12 young people benefitted from more training days, more broadcasts and more days at COP 26 than would otherwise have been possible. The provision of specialist training in production techniques and the time allowed to develop skills and confidence, not only prepared the young people for the technical demands of filming at COP26 but also equipped them with the wider social skills necessary to navigate a complex, people centric environment where strong communication and clear messaging is critical.

SYFF firmly believes that without the support of ScottishPower and the C&BS Fund, the young people would simply not have had the opportunities and experiences that they did. In addition to the 12 people involved in the COP TV project, SYFF’s outreach work also engaged around 40 young people across four Impact Arts locations with a further 8 taking part in a Beacon Arts project. As well as producing climate-related films and benefitting from hand-on training in filming, editing, camera operation and sound, the young people gained valuable skills in communication, team working, timekeeping, adaptability, critical thinking and creativity.

As the first sponsorship SYFF has enjoyed with a company of this size and profile, the backing from ScottishPower boosted staff confidence, added credibility to the COP TV initiative and helped the youth organisation to develop a strategy for future partnerships with organisations with a similarly high profile. For ScottishPower, the project added valuable insight into the funding and opportunity gaps that can act as barriers for young people in Scotland trying to gain access to practical training opportunities.

In terms of image enhancement, marketing and PR, ScottishPower believe the partnership had a positive impact on their reputation and became a cornerstone of their COP26 programme of activity. The project was announced in a standalone press release across UK news outlets and was shared across ScottishPower’s corporate social channels, with the story of the partnership communicated to over 6,000 ScottishPower employees and the wider Iberdrola group, raising awareness of the 12 young peoples’ journeys as well as the company’s support of the project. SYFF’s YouTube films have been watched over 3,000 times and as many of these viewings have been in school setting, may have reached up to 10,000 individuals

This was the biggest project ever attempted by SYFF and it’s a testament to the work of all the partners involved that we have ended up with such a success. The young people involved are all thriving and the audience feedback on the broadcasts has been incredible.
David Barras, Co-Founder | Scottish Youth Film Foundation
This was a fantastic initiative that provided opportunities for young people to learn new skills across the whole lifecycle of content production in a really creative way. They found the means by which they could engage with climate change, engage throughout COP and provide great content to audiences across Scotland and the wider world.
Dr Sam Gardner, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability | ScottishPower

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