Martlets wins Gold at ‘Smiley Charity Film Awards’ for ‘Marc’s story’

Martlets wins Gold at ‘Smiley Charity Film Awards’ for ‘Marc’s story’

The film, which showcases the work of Martlets in supporting people living through terminal illness, wins Gold at national event.

‘Marc’s Story’ was awarded Gold at this year’s ‘Smiley Charity Film Awards’ at a ceremony in Leicester Square last week. Martlets, which supports people living through terminal illness in Brighton & Hove and the Deans and the Havens, was recognised as the judges’ choice in the £5-£20 million turnover category.

The award, which was presented by actor Jason Watkins and host Tom Allen, was collected by Marc Valentine-Morton whose story the film tells. The judges praised the film for being an ‘emotive, real story that’s relatable and highlights the services of the charity brilliantly’ and highlighted the competitiveness of the category which saw Martlets up against films produced by range of national and local charities. The ‘Bronze’ award was awarded to Children with Cancer UK and the ‘Silver’ was awarded to Dementia UK.

In the film Marc talks about his experiences of hospice care from Martlets including counselling support and how it helped him return to the stage to become a part of the ‘Calendar Girls’ musical fundraiser, held at Theatre Royal Brighton last year. Marc has Poorly Differentiated Thyroid Cancer, which was diagnosed during the Covid pandemic, and is being supported by Martlets with his palliative care.

The film was produced initially in support of last year’s Halloween Ball fundraiser, with the support of freelance videographer James Beer.

Much of it was filmed in the Theatre Royal Brighton who kindly donated the space to the charity. Martlets has won TikTok ad credits and support from the social media platform as part of the prize.

The film’s star Marc Valentine-Morton said: “I was so shocked when I heard we had won, I turned to my husband and exclaimed in disbelief! To see and feel the reception of the film in the room was amazing. I was asked to consider making this film to help support fundraising and raise understanding of the impact of the depth of care Martlets provides. To know the judges could recognise this is really powerful.

“This film is dedicated to the care and support Martlets has given to me and my husband and I would especially like to thank my nurse Martyn, who has gone, and continues to go, above and beyond. I am so proud to have helped raise thousands of pounds for Martlets already and recognise the generosity of people particularly in these difficult times. Anything more I can help Martlets raise to ensure others can have this exceptional care is really important to me.”

Siobhan Meaker, Head of Marketing and Communications at Martlets said, “We are so proud and delighted to have won recognition for the impact of Martlets’ hospice care by winning this award. It is an honour to have scooped Gold amid huge competition from so many excellent charities including many larger national causes.

“Hospice care is about living and finding joy and hope even when things are incredibly difficult. We are so grateful to Marc for his openness and honesty which we hope enlightens people about what Martlets really does, and we are delighted he was able to collect the award for his story.”

Watch the film


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