Centrepoint and Me

A 60 second film which focuses on the stories of two young people and the huge impact Centrepoint – the homeless young people’s charity, has had on their lives.
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Digital Documenters


For any queries about any content on this site, please email: info@olivia-heath.com

Thank you for all the support during the start-up of this project right through to the end. The 2012 Olympics are approaching soon and we hope that you all get actively involved in volunteering up and down the country and help to create a positive legacy!

First Light Awards 2011

The 2011 First Light Awards was a star-studded event to celebrate the talents of young people across the UK. Hosted by Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw at the Odeon in Leicester Square, the awards kicked off with a great energy and saw a  host of film industry faces including Miranda Hart, Hugh Dennis, Noel Clarke and Michelle Ryan to name just a few.

Team Exeter won the award Digital Documenters award for their film Disability Swimming. It was a well deserved win too!

The other awards won by young people were inspiring to say the least, there really is some great talent out there. One of my favourite nominees that stood out was for Best Animation! Although they didn’t win, I thought School of Lego produced by Sawston Village College was great and had many of us in fits of laughter!

Anyway, check out all the fun and backstage action from all the Digital Documenters team in a selection of pictures below:


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Until next time….

Watch all of our 60 second films!

So guys, all 60 second films are now complete and ready to view on our YouTube page

As I’m sure you know, Centrepoint & Me was nominated for a First Light Award… Unfortunately we lost, but to worthy competitors, so well done Team Exeter and to their mentor, Peter Snelling! Their film, Disability Swimming is great, check it out below:

Please remember to check out all of our films. Each of them highlights a particular Olympic value and we hope that they inspire you to volunteer as well.

Please leave feedback too, as we would love to hear what you think of it!

And last but not least, a massive thank you to everyone who voted!


Congratulations to the team…

Congratulations go out to team London’s very own filmmaker, Jaleesa! She has landed a paid job with Centroid as a Trainee Motion Capture Technician and starts next week! Jaleesa also worked on the 60 second film, Centrepoint & Me which is up for a First Light award. So if you haven’t voted already, click on this link now! http://bit.ly/fBSHhv

Also, more congratulations go out to Campaign Film Reviewer, Sabrina Parmar, who landed a job with Nostairway Ltd and will be working as a Production Assistant! Great news all round then, which just emphasises that volunteering to get those practical skills, making the most of every opportunity and maintaining that level of focus and determination really does pay off! Both Jaleesa and Sabrina applied through the same scheme offered at Screen South, a film and media agency for the South East of England. Everyone at First Light wish Jaleesa and Sabrina the best of luck!


Keep an eye out on the First light website for an interview with Jaleesa coming soon!.. AND… We have a new section dedicated to volunteers and how volunteering inspires them! check it out now: http://bit.ly/fMvEvj

THE RACE IS ON… It’s time to VOTE!



  • This film was made by passionate volunteers and equally young-budding filmmakers!
  • Centrepoint gives homeless young people a future and we’re trying to raise awareness for them too!
  • We think every young person should volunteer, it’s so rewarding and beneficial in many ways!
  • This film highlights several key Olympic values: Respect (acceptance, appreciation, judgement) & Equality (fairness, stereotypes, respect, inclusion)

Jaleesa says:

“Producing Centrepoint & Me was a great experience for us, we got to learn about the work Centrepoint do in a fun and creative way! We enjoyed attending and filming their events, meeting their volunteers and even became Centrepoint volunteers ourselves – helping out at their SleepOut event, we had a really good time at SleepOut and met some great people.”


Andrew Mersmann talks all things volunteering…

Following his return from witnessing several outstanding volunteering and community outreach programs in South Africa, Digital Documenters London have a chat with award-winning travel writer, author and editor, Andrew Mersmann. He talks about how he was raised to volunteer, his tears whilst helping out at the Haiti earthquake and why everyone should ‘Conspire to Inspire’.


1) How passionate are you about volunteering?

Andrew: I was raised to volunteer and be of service—my mother was always working with social service organizations or political rallies as I was growing up, often taking me along, so it has been what I’ve known.  I had a bit of a personal renaissance with volunteering a couple of years ago and rededicated myself to doing big projects, on an international scale when possible, and it truly is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I think being lit up like that is available to everyone, they just don’t necessarily know it yet—but finding that one way (or many ways) to contribute, to make a difference, that also inspires your personal passion, is the alchemy. For one person it may be picking up trash on trails, for another working at a HIV/AIDS orphanage, for another saving endangered animals, for another licking envelopes for a candidate fundraiser… and one is no better than the next, except in how it inspires you.



2) As Digital Documenters, we hope to encourage more young people to volunteer and we believe that the 2012 Olympics is a good way to engage them. What are you views on young people volunteering?

Andrew: To me, having a way of thinking that is about something larger than your own skin is one of the most important things to do to be fully human (and there are plenty who never get there). To begin to think about service is to begin to see ourselves as part of a global family, to see past differences, and to take a stand about what is important to us…and while it is never too late to start, it is never too early either. Making a commitment to volunteering is making a commitment to yourself while simultaneously committing to the world (quite literally a commitment to the world with the Olympic Games), and THAT is a guaranteed predictor of success and leadership.

“It was so close to the bone every day—tears were at the brim of my eyes all the time.”



3) How do you think we can involve more people on a macro scale to volunteer?

Andrew: I believe it IS macro every time an individual volunteers. When you decide to work for a change, you shift the future. The trick is to create the bridge. The bridge I speak of is educating everyone to know that volunteering and making a difference is available to you in whatever size you feel like taking on. You can do a world of work in a single afternoon.

“In the face of so much difficulty, there was such an amazing community connection, music, dance, painting, just boundless creativity coming from tragedy.”

4) We love your blog, ‘Change by Doing’ and we think it’s very inspirational. What were your main motives behind it?

Andrew: Thank you so much—to be inspirational somehow is the world to me. I have started using a catchphrase I like very much, as an invitation, asking people to “Conspire to Inspire.” My goal with the blog is to turn somebody, anybody, everybody on to being of service to something larger than themselves. One day might be completely useless and uninteresting to an individual, but I hope the next day or the next will be something that lights you up. My ultimate motive with ‘Change by Doing’ is that a reader will click a link to go to an organization’s website, or pick up the phone, or show up to a meeting, and jump in and be active.

“Volunteering truly is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”

5) You have volunteered at some pretty amazing places and all for extremely good causes. Can you tell us about one particular experience that really stands out for you?

Andrew: This past summer I spent a couple of weeks in Haiti, doing post-earthquake rebuilding at an orphanage. The experience was so raw, even seven months after the actual disaster. If someone had told me the earthquake had happened mere days before I arrived I would have believed them. There was still so much devastation, in structures as well as in lives and souls. I never saw a straight line while I was there—everything was broken and jagged. Every kid at that orphanage had a story about the quake, and the kids living in the tent cities as well—including ones who became orphans on that day. In the face of so much difficulty, there was such an amazing community connection, music, dance, painting, just boundless creativity coming from tragedy. It was so close to the bone every day—tears were at the brim of my eyes all the time, even as we laughed and played and sang and drummed together with the young people as well as with the local construction crew we were helping build walls. It was one of the most difficult periods of time I’ve ever experienced, and I would go back in a heartbeat.



6) As well as encouraging young people to volunteer, we also aim to pass on skills that we have learnt through training like filmmaking, blogging, interviewing techniques etc. Aside from volunteering, you are also an author, travel writer and Editor in Chief of Passport Magazine, how did you start out in journalism?

Andrew: I came to journalism later in my career. I had been pursuing work in theatre and had an unexpected invitation to write a guest article for a magazine. It was one of those instances where it would have been very easy to decide I was too busy to take on another project, or since it wasn’t my main focus feel like it would be a distraction but it turned out that saying yes is everything. I believe in going down any and every road until there is a reason not to. Exploration is always exciting—trying something new just for the fun of it. I had no idea such a seismic shift in my career was right around the corner, and honestly wouldn’t have believed it could have happened. From that first, very casual opportunity, I met professionals in the industry—other travel writers and editors—and have been busy ever since.



7) Volunteering is so diverse and that really shows through some of the places that you have been. Can you sum up and argue in one sentence why everyone should volunteer?

Andrew: If you live your entire life with the focus never on others, you can’t really say you’ve lived, can you?

“There is a project waiting for you, desperately needing your energy, and their waiting is exhausting. Give them a break and jump in—it’s what you were meant to be doing.”

Read Andrew’s blog herehttp://changebydoing.com

Digital Documenters at the BFI Future Film Festival

Last week, four members of the London team headed down to the BAFTA & First Light Be Inspired event. Ayan, Alicia, Anna & Joe attended the event as part of the BFI Future Film Festival and got the opportunity to meet and interview the BAFTA nominated directors who explore the art of short films!

The event provided the opportunity for us to view some short films that had been nominated for a BAFTA and hear from the filmmakers who discussed their films and careers in a  post screening and answer session. Luckily, we got to interview them for camera tips, (it will be on the First Light website soon!) One of the filmmakers, Michael Please, who Alicia interviewed, went on to win a BAFTA for his animation THE EAGLEMAN STAG.

(Click on each image below to enlarge)

The BFI Future Film Festival which returned for its fourth year, is the best destination for aspiring filmmakers to see the hottest new films from the next generation of UK talent. The festival also offers young people a unique opportunity to learn essential skills from experts and to meet like-minded film enthusiasts.


The nominated films were:

Short Film

CONNECT – Samuel Abrahams, Beau Gordon

RITE – Michael Pearce, Ross McKenzie, Paul Welsh

TURNING – Karni Arieli, Saul Freed, Alison Sterling, Kat Armour-Brown


Short Animation

THE EAGLEMAN STAG – Michael Please (WINNER!) Watch the winners interview below

MATTER FISHER – David Prosser

THURSDAY – Matthias Hoegg

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