Project Description

Stoke homelessness charity wins over donors using hard hitting video testimonials with former residents

I’ve worked with the Gingerbread Centre in Longton on a number of a videos – mainly animated crowdfunding videos, showcasing their impact through quotes and statistics.

But in 2022, the charity decided they wanted a more emotional, and more human kind of video to try and convince people to support them.

As a result, we decided to create a series of video case studies with current and former residents, which they could use on their website, and at big fundraising events.

Hearing from one of the people you help, whose life you have transformed with the service you provide, can be unbelievably powerful.


Who was featured in the video case studies

I interviewed three different people for The Gingerbread Centre’s series of case studies, who had been carefully selected so they’d all have a different story to tell.

The first was Natalie, who had been at the Gingerbread Centre decades ago when she was a single teenage mum. She’s now the CEO of a successful local charity, so her story was really important in that it showed they long-term impact of the charity, and how people can turn their lives around.

The second interviewee was Arti, who left the Gingerbread Centre about 18 months ago. She has since started a course at Staffordshire University, and wants to set up her own business.

And finally I interviewed a single mum who is still living at the centre.

As you can see, there are three very different stories told here, which the charity can use to convey different messages.


What was the filming process like

I’d spoken to Chris at the centre previously about the stories that these women were likely to tell, so that I could prepare some questions which would help them to get their message across.

Arti and the mum hadn’t been on camera before, so doing the interview in a question and answer format really helps to make it feel conversational, and a much less stressful experience for them.

We arranged that everyone would pop by for their interview on the same day, and we put aside half an hour for each chat.

I set up the filming location in a private room, and invited the women in one by one for the case study interview, making sure that it was a chilled out environment where they felt like they could be themselves.

After filming, one of the women said to me that they’d completely forgotten the camera was there, and it just felt like having a chat – and that’s the best feedback I could’ve got!

Filming charity case study videos at the Gingerbread Centre in Stoke on Trent


What was the editing process like

The three interviews were around twenty minutes to half an hour long each, so there was a lot of cutting down required to get them to a more manageable length of three minutes!

There’s a balance to be found with the duration of a case study video: it needs to be long enough to authentically tell their story, but not so long that people think it is too much effort to watch.

I wanted to pack the videos with as much emotion as possible, so the sections of the video which were more detail-orientated, I instead made into title boards which helped the video to move along at a quicker pace.

Knowing that there wouldn’t be loads of opportunities for cutaways (extra shots you film which help to tell the story, and cover any gaps where you make cuts), I’d chosen to film the interviews on two cameras. This meant I could cut between the two where there was a section of interview I wanted to remove, without the audience feeling like something was missing.

Once the interviews were cut down to around three minutes each, the most important task was finding a music track which matched the emotion and pace of the finished video.

The music tracks I use come from a paid subscription to a high quality royalty free music database. This means you’re free to use the music on any platform you like – but because it wasn’t free, you’re unlikely to hear that music anywhere else (whereas by comparison, music from sites like Bensound are absolutely bloody everywhere!!).

These videos will now live on the Gingerbread Centre’s website and social media pages, and they’ll also use them during presentations and at fundraising events.