So on Friday I trundled down to London on the lunch time train ready to meet Nicola Leddy who made a video about me and my book many moons ago for the Alzheimer’s Society. The film had got to the final of the Charity Film Awards. Nicola had done a wonderful job though and many photographers who had visited my house in the last year had said how she got the setting in the house just right and some had even tried to emulate it.
However, in reality this was my worst nightmare event. Firstly it was in the evening – not a good time for me and secondly I imagined lots of noise and people and dark shadowy settings……….so I was there simply to support Nicola on her evening of glory, whether she won or not. There are some wonderful films and animations around at the mo.
The train to London appeared full of weekend travellers so was full but I had a seat to myself. The Humber shone on this bright but blustery day, the wind building for the storm due that evening….
I could sit in silence and watch the world flash by. As we got nearer to London the storm clouds were gathering and the wind becoming stronger. But the golden yellow fields still lit up the horizon..and made the land shine brighter than it really was……..😍
My hotel was close by Liverpool Street station and I was hoping the venue was close by as rain was forecast and no umbi in my bag…..🙄…..I’d also forgotten my ear plugs….😳….and the event would be very noisy. I put a comment to the organisers on Twitter and they replied saying they would whisper some of the time 😂
I arrived at Liverpool Street to find so much building work that it took me ages to find the hotel🙄……my trusty app kept being confused as I had to keep going round building work and got thoroughly lost for a while. It felt like it was in a backstreet which didn’t help either, but might be wrong.
Anyway, I arrived to find Maria McDonagh waiting for me in reception. I’d agreed to chat to her about the Ambassador role for the Alzheimer’s Society. Maria is the Head of VIP and Ambassador Relations and they’re in the process of recruiting some newbies so had a few questions to run by me. Havn’t a clue what they were as I’m typing this in my room an hour later 🙄……….
I declined the invitation originally as it was a black tie event and I don’t do posh, but luckily Nicola doesn’t either so we said we’d be the rebels amongst the glamorous 🤣
I’d put on Twitter about not having any earplugs with me and Nicola had txt to say we could get some on the way☺️. But even better, was she got me 3 pairs from the hotel reception!!
We set off from the hotel, Nicola in charge of Google maps……and we walked…….and turned round…….and walked…….🤐…….and arrived at the wrong venue 🤣😂🤣…….it turned out it was in the next street to my hotel, 1 minute away 😂🤣😂……it was soooo funny. Set the tone for the evening.
We arrived in the new venue and immediately had a piccie
It was chocca heaving with hundreds of people. Once we were called through to the main hall Nicola found us seats at a table that turned out to have the loveliest people who became our friends for the evening.
We were sat with another finalist, ‘Chicken Shed’ theatre group who were really nice chappies and 2 other woman who’d come because they want to make a film and were simply there for enjoyment.
I sat tapping some notes into my phone for some of the following detail…….
Simon Burton, the founder of Charity Films Awards opened the evening by saying, nothing raises money for charities better than films. He’s a lovely man who came up to me afterwards apologising, as he’d actually bought me some earplugs but had forgotten to give them to me in the chaos….☺️
Actress, Sally Phillips was the host for the evening, she was very funny. ‘Living Thames’ won the first award, which had Sir Richard Attenborough on the film😳 ‘Inside Childline ‘ won the second award.
It was then I decided I had to stop tapping and just sit and listen.
There were quite a few categories, all to do with the charity turnover, from small to super large. I remember learning many things that evening, some quite astounding but also some really heart warming. We saw many wonderful films, none of which I’d seen before, which I found sad as they were truly wonderful. I learnt that many charities pay a fortune for agencies to produce videos instead of investing in house teams which could do it for a fraction of the cost. Alzheimer’s Society use an in-house team and Nicola has been responsible for all theirs lately and has done a wonderful job with the East Enders Dementia Revolution London marathon team. Sadly she’s about to leave for another wonderful opportunity with a teenage cancer charity – they don’t realise how lucky they are….yet….
Our category came up
It had the most entries and very high standard. We didn’t win but we got ‘highly commended’.
At the end, we had our silly pic in the photo booth and had an interview………
exhausted, inevitable head banging, but saw some wonderful films and sat with some lovely people.
We might not have won, but Nicola should be so pleased with our Highly Commended glassware….
P.s……..didn’t sleep much and at 2 am hotel fire alarm went off……….😱🙈😳……trying to work out where I was, finally found a light switch……heard lots of chaos…….only for alarm to stop……..🤐🤯