After more than 30 years, the LWT (London Weekend Television) Charitable Trust is winding down and has announced that it is donating its remaining assets to The Film and TV Charity. The £116,000 donation will be used by the charity as it continues to support the wellbeing of those working behind the scenes in the UK film, TV, and cinema industries.
The LWT Trust was a charity funded by both the company (LWT, Granada Media Group and more recently ITV) and employees of LWT to provide a hardship fund for current and former staff and their families. Over the years it has paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds in assistance.
LWT operated by ITV plc, broadcast in Greater London and the Home Counties at weekends as a franchise of ITV from 1968 to 2002. Famously, until 1992 there was an on-screen handover to and from LWT on Friday evenings and Monday mornings. LWT was responsible for most of ITV’s weekend line-up, becoming well-known for studio shows like Blind Date and Gladiators.
The Film and TV Charity provides a range of mental health, legal and financial support free of charge to everyone who works behind the scenes in the industry. It also runs a confidential, 24-hour Film and TV Support Line, and has recently launched a suite of Bullying Pathway services, designed to offer expert guidance and resources to support individuals who have witnessed or experienced bullying or harassment, accessible via the Support Line.
The Film and TV Charity’s ties to LWT extend beyond the Trust’s donation, with former LWT Chair Lord Grade a long-time Vice-Patron of the charity.
Alexander Gardiner, Chair of the LWT Charitable Trust said: “We are proud of our track record in providing what was often life-changing support for those facing hardship in the television industry but have come to the conclusion that the Film and TV Charity is better placed to carry this work forward, its work providing support during the pandemic has been inspirational. The Film and TV Charity has assisted thousands of people who have helped keep the nation entertained and informed over the past year, and we hope our donation contributes to that great work long into the future.”
The Film and TV Charity’s Director of Development Louise Benson said: “A huge thank you to the LWT Charitable Trust for this generous donation. Our workforce is precious, which is why we exist, to provide support and to make a positive difference for everybody working in film and TV. Donations like this mean that we can continue to do our work, supporting the industry not just to survive but to thrive. And this act of generosity from the LWT Charitable Trust is also a hugely welcome endorsement of our mission.”
The Film and TV Charity relies on the generosity of its donors to help fund a growing range of support services. Anyone interested in making a donation or fundraising on behalf of the charity can speak to Tom Woodward, Head of Fundraising, by emailing [email protected]