To support and integrate with the local communities and economies where we operate.
We invest in projects that align with our core values and look for opportunities to positively impact one disadvantaged person for every Vitec employee in the communities in which we operate.
The positive power of images
We believe in the positive power of images to convey ideas, create wealth and positive social and environmental value. As a leader in our markets, our employees are experts in photography, videography, engineering and technology, and we aim to share this knowledge to enable positive social and environmental outcomes. In particular we focus on ways in which our products and skills can benefit those who are disadvantaged. We aim to positively impact one disadvantaged person for every Vitec employee in the communities in which we operate.
Supporting our communities
The following are few examples of positive contributions we made in 2019 in the communities in which we operate:
Investing in future industry talent
Vitec often donates or lends its professional photographic, TV and cinematic equipment to educational institutions around the world in order to assist with the upskilling of future talent in the image capture and sharing industry.
In 2006, Ryan Schorman, co-founder of Wooden Camera, which is part of our Creative Solutions Division, graduated from the University of North Texas ("UNT"). Ever since it was founded, Wooden Camera has had an affiliation with UNT in supporting the development of talent in the independent content creator market. Wooden Camera assist by providing technical support in the optimisation of the cameras and accessories in the university's film programme. As a passionate proponent of independent film content creation, Ryan sis on the Media Arts Executive Board at UNT, where he advises on the film programme, judges film contests and contributes to scholarships.
The Offshoot Foundation's main aim is to teach, inspire and encourage young people into filmmaking via workshops and work experience. The Bury St Edmunds, UK, site gifted six Sachtler Ace M systems and six Litepanels Caliber kits to the charity to support young filmmakers.
In the UK, Vitec has been a long-time supporter of and donator to The Vinten Trust which was set up by the original founder of the company that became Vitec, William Vinten. The trust is a charitable foundation whose aim is to pursue initiatives which increase interest from students at schools and colleges in the Bury St Edmunds, UK, area in science and technology subjects.
Below: Young filmmakers participating with The Offshoot Foundation
The experience of volunteering with The OffShoot Foundation was just brilliant. Getting the chance to spend some time with young filmmakers and understand their approach to using pro-level equipment without any fear was interesting. I'm looking forward to doing this again.
James McKellar, Vitec Production Solutions, UK
Picture of Life
Imaging Solutions' Picture of Life project is a photography education initiative comprising training programmes for young people who have faced hardship and disenfranchisement. Starting out as a collaboration between Vitec and the Italian Justice Ministry in 2014, Divisional ambassadors teach techniques in different locations and under different circumstances (e.g. city, nature, wildlife), aimed at educating young people to use photography and videography to work through difficult personal issues. Four young adults between the ages of 17 and 19 took part in the project in 2019.
Vitec supports the project by donating photographic equipment to equip participants with all they need for the duration of the programme and by organising all aspects of the course. Since its initial launch in Italy, the initiative has proved so successful that it has been replicated in New York and Chicago, US; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; and in the UK.
The programme was expanded in 2019 to involve professional photographers shooting in remote locations to highlight climate issues. Images will be taken in the Alps, France, in 2020 to observe the impact of global warming on fast receding glaciers and concluding a programme that has already studied the Himalayas, the Andes and Alaska. In addition, Lowepro and JOBY will be technical sponsors of SeaLegacy 2020, a modern conservation photography movement which aims to show the impact of climate change on the oceans.
The Production Solutions team in Costa Rica joined in the October 2019 Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign by sponsoring the seventh annual walk arranged by the Clinic Señora de Los Ángeles. Thanks to the funds raised, the Clinic was able to donate 60 mammograms and breast ultrasounds for women in the local community. The Costa Rican employees also raised money to support the charity RHMC which provides support and a home environment for the parents of sick children undergoing treatment in the National Children's Hospital.
In Imaging Solutions in Italy, Christmas cakes and cards were purchased from a social cooperative Conca D'Oro in Bassano, where young disabled individuals learn lifelong valuable skills.
A team from the Bury St Edmunds, UK, site supported the My WiSH charity by dressing up as characters from Anchorman and taking part in their annual Soapbox Challenge in 2019. A cross-functional team developed a "cart" that took part in a downhill race, raising the profile of our local business and £1,100 from employees for the charity. A different team took part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, raising £1,800 to help Henry's Holiday Help, a charity that supports families who have a child with cancer by providing grants towards family holidays. In Creative Solutions, focus in 2019 was on donating food iteams and volunteering at local food banks, helping to contribute to the local communities in Irvine and Dallas, US and Ra'anana, Israel.
Below: Production Solutions' employees competing in the My WiSH Soapbox Challenge
Partnership with Richmond Theatre Trust to jointly run Young Filmmakers courses
In January 2020, we announced a partnership with Richmond Theatre Trust to reach one local teenager in the Richmond, UK area who has faced hardship or marginalisation and not had access to the creative arts, for every employee at the Company's Richmond Head Office. Each young person will take part in a four-day filmmaking course which results in an Arts Award qualification.
The aim of the partnership is to give teenagers new life skills and build their confidence in the creative arts. The partnership with the Richmond Theatre Trust will run for an intial two-year period and coincides with the Theatre's 120th anniversary celebrations. The Young Filmmakers courses will provide a rare opportunity for these young people to discover industry insights and to work with market-leading, industry standard Vitec equipment. Kit such as the JOBY GorillaPod Mobile Rig will set students up to continue to create their own content once they have successfully complete the course.
Apprenticeships and work experience initiatives
Vitec continued to offer work placements and internships for students in engineering and film studies. In Bury St Edmunds, UK, the Production Solutions team hosted eight students across various departments for summer intern roles. In Costa Rica, a total of 25 students had placements at the Production Solutions site for two months. Several of these students were then offered full-tome roles at the end of the period.
In Italy, the UniTNContest is a collaboration with Trento University to design Manfrotto products. Around 70 students were involved in different R&D projects with the winning group awarded Manfrotto products as prizes as well as the chance to see their design progress in the real world to at least prototype stage. One student successfully complete an internship and has subsequently been hired by the R&D team.
A second partnership with Milan Politecnico involved 50 students in concept design projects and students from Milan Cottolica were involved in a communications exercise for next generation products, resulting in a six-month internship for one student.