A campaign is to launch to save the only UK-wide TV channel
dedicated to the charity sector.
The Community Channel, launched a year ago and run by the Media Trust,
faces closure early next year unless hundreds of thousands of pounds can
The trust is now working to promote the channel for the first time. CEO
Caroline Diehl is carrying out public affairs work with government
departments, which are seen as a key funding source.
Sky Digital, which broadcasts the channel, is keen to ensure the channel
continues and is considering recruiting a PR and marketing specialist to
And MT head of communications Sangeeta Haindl is coordinating the
channel's first media relations campaign.
Haindl said: 'This is a big campaign for us, to ensure the channel
survives. This is the only service of its kind and it would be
devastating if it no longer existed, not least of all for the many
charities which use it.'
The channel is used by more than 200 charities, including the British
Heart Foundation, to promote their work and fundraise.
The trust estimates the service will have to be taken off the air by
March, when £600,000 of Community Fund and Home Office grants run
This week Christian Aid is using the service to broadcast interviews
with families in Afghanistan.
The footage was smuggled out of the war-torn country into Pakistan where
it could be sent to the charity's base in London via e-mail.
The channel has a three-strong team headed by MD Gerrard Melling.
Melling said: 'The footage from Christain Aid shows the importance of
the channel to charities. They can put their own footage, from war zones
for example, out quickly and to a potential audience of millions.'
Earlier this month the Media Trust, which acts as a link between the
media and the charity sector, unveiled another broadcasting project. It
has linked up with Teletext to produce pages about volunteering.