Press Release

Social enterprise providing film training to young disadvantaged people receives £150K in funding from Big Issue Invest

Chocolate Films’ social mission is to provide training and employment opportunities to young disadvantaged people in London. Over the last 12 months alone, the company has produced over 25 films and provided training programmes and work opportunities for over 3,000 young people in London.

Chocolate Films

Chocolate Films

Chocolate Films Workshops has received £150,000 in funding from Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of the Big Issue Group.

Rachel Wang and Mark Currie founded Chocolate Films in 2001, with a simple goal: to build a high-quality video production company with a clear social purpose. It now has a team of more than 20, with bases in London and Glasgow, satellite offices in Germany, Portugal, Italy and the USA, and an international network that gives it a much wider reach without compromising its values.

Chocolate Films’ social mission is to provide training and employment opportunities to young disadvantaged people in London. Over the last 12 months alone, the company has produced over 25 films and provided training programmes and work opportunities for over 3,000 young people in London.

The money from Big Issue Invest will allow Chocolate Films to finalise its new studio in Nine Elms. Nine Elms Studios (www.nineelmsstudio.com) will be twice the size of their current space and is purpose-built to deliver Chocolate Films social enterprise model. The new facilities include a purpose built studio space, dressing room, studio storage and hot-desking space.

Chocolate Films Workshop’s social mission is to provide young people with quality training and employment opportunities. They work with many different groups of young people including through schools in highly deprived areas around London. They have also engaged with ex-offenders, children coming out of care and people experiencing homelessness.

Chocolate Films receives contracts from charities, housing associations and other community groups to run community and education programmes with disadvantaged youths; they also offer filmmaking courses focusing on social issues. In the past, the company has provided filmmaking services to a range of national charities and social enterprises including the National Autistic Society, Catalyst Housing, the National Union of Teachers and Big Issue Invest to name but a few. They also run an extensive outreach programme of educational and community film-making projects.

CFW are working with the GLA on a large-scale education project creating 6 short films on careers in the creative industry of secondary school young people and working with HBO, Bloomsbury Publishing, Sony Music, Grimshaw and Disney.

The organisation are also currently working on over 30 charitable productions including: working with Glasgow University on a Youth Violence project; creating films for the NAS for teenaers on the spectrum of autism, we create the live streams for Booktrust and for Theatre 503 plays; CFW are creating an animation for Anna Freud Centre on anxiety, and are making a number of films for the charity Blueprint (used to be the Stephen Lawrence Centre) on engaging with young people and supporting them in their career journey; The Young Women’s Trust, Young V&A, the Design Museum; Buttle UK, Death Penalty Project.

On top of this CFW are also working with local schools in Wandsworth borough and plan to offer regular Saturday workshops to young people, starting with a neurodiverse group in the borough at Nine Elms Studio once we have settled in.

Glenn Arradon, Investment Manager at Big Issue Invest, said: “We are incredibly pleased to be able to support the work that Chocolate Films Workshops does within some of the most deprived communities. Supporting young and disadvantaged people to not only learn about filming but also supporting them to find employment is vital work which strikes at the heart of our mission at Big Issue Invest.”

Rachel Wang, Director at Chocolate Films, said: “For over 21 years, Chocolate Films Workshops have travelled to community groups, schools and youth clubs to offer our filmmaking workshops to young people. We are thrilled to finally have our very own studio www.ninelemsstudio.com where we can offer our workshops in drama, documentary, animation and photography regularly to young people that would otherwise not have the opportunity to engage with film. To find out more about our workshops go to https://www.chocolatefilmsworkshops.co.uk/

Big Issue Invest is a delivery partner of the Growth Fund, which enabled the investment detailed in this press release. The Growth Fund is a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital, delivered by Access through a range of social investors. It makes up to £50m available to support charities and social enterprises to grow and create social impact in their communities. The Growth Fund uses a combination of grant funding, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, and loan finance from Big Society Capital and other co-investors, to address specific gaps in the social investment market.

To find out more about Big Issue Invest, or how your organisation could receive similar support to Chocolate Films Workshops, please visit: https://www.bigissue.com/invest/

To find out more about Chocolate Films Workshops, visit their website here: https://www.chocolatevideoproduction.co.uk/

https://bigissueinvest.com/

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