By Press Office 31 May 2016

A group of media and film students from Queen Margaret University has used its creative talent to promote one of Scotland’s most respected respite care facilities.

The 2nd year students created a series of short promotional films which capture the spirit of Leuchie House national respite centre in North Berwick for people living with long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington's, Parkinson's, cerebral palsy and the effects of stroke.

The project was part of a media module ‘Working in the Media’  in which groups of students work with small local businesses, social enterprises or charities to develop an agreed media product such as a short promotional film, marketing materials or a social media campaign.

The series of films captures interviews with people who have benefited from a much needed respite break at Leuchie House, which is located in an impressive country house just outside North Berwick.

The respite care centre, an independent charity, offers specialist nursing care facilities for people who are experiencing serious degenerative health conditions. Importantly, it provides a holiday, in a beautiful part of the country, for people who experience long term health issues as well as their carers.

Used by people from all over Scotland and beyond, Leuchie House can provide 24 hour specialist care for up to 23 residents at a time and guests can choose to stay for four, seven or 11 nights.

Lorraine Hunter, Marketing and Communications Officer for Leuchie House, explained: “For many people with enduring medical conditions, a period away from home can be a lifeline, but the thought of being away from familiar surroundings for the first time when having specific health needs, can be daunting.

“We wanted a series of video clips featuring a range of Leuchie people – guests, carers, staff and volunteers - which would convey what we call ‘the Leuchie effect,’ the positive impact of a break at Leuchie, which lasts long after guests leave.

“The students were great to work with. They interpreted the brief extremely well and managed to put everyone they filmed at ease. The students were professional and very sensitive to the needs of our guests and their carers. They used their approachable and down to earth manner very skilfully to encourage people to engage in the filming process.”

The team of four 2nd year film and media students who created the new short film were Louise Nicolson, Calum Beveridge, Mai Phnong Dang Thi and Rebeka Papp.

Louise explained: “Our course module ‘Working in the Media’ presented us with a wonderful opportunity to put the skills and knowledge that we are learning on our degree course into practice on a live project.

“We totally fell in love with Leuchie House. It’s such a unique place and it was a real joy to work with the staff and the clients. Meeting and working with the guests was the best bit. It was great to see the positive effect that Leuchie House had on people.”

Mai Phnong Dang Thi stated: “We wanted our film to capture the ‘Leuchie effect’ – basically how people benefited from their positive experience of Leuchie House. The facility really has something special and by encouraging the clients to open up and share their stories, it was clear to see how much they had been affected by their time at Leuchie. Despite the challenges that they faced, guests were relaxed, positive and happy. It took them out of their normal lives and transported them to a safe beautiful place where they could re-energise and enjoy themselves.”

“Rebeka and Calum were particularly keen to create a film which encapsulated and communicated the uniqueness and spirit of Leuchie House. They said: “As filmmakers, it was such a positive experience for us to capture the essence of the facility that we now feel that we have all been touched by the ‘Leuchie effect’.  We couldn’t have wished for a better live project.”

Lorraine Hunter confirmed: “The video clips will be a very useful addition to the resources on our website, helping people understand what Leuchie House is all about and how a break here could make a real difference to them. As a charity, funding a professional video shoot would be outwith our budget, so we are extremely grateful to Queen Margaret University for providing us with such a useful promotional tool. It’s a great way to convey real life experiences of all kinds of aspects of life at Leuchie House.”

Denny Collie, Lecturer in Creative Enterprise at Queen Margaret University, said: “We are very proud of this student group and the way they conducted themselves throughout the project. They were incredibly professional, handled the project with the sensitivity it deserved, and showed a real passion for the project. This passion and care is clearly demonstrated in the final film.

“We are also pleased that our ‘Working in the Media’ module is proving to be a such a hit with local charities, social enterprises and small businesses in East Lothian and Edinburgh. It is an excellent way for the University to engage with community groups and for our students to gain hands on practical experience in film and media and develop their communication and group work skills whilst building their work portfolio. It’s a win win situation for all involved.”

View the Leuchie people interviews at: www.leuchiehouse.org.uk/respite-breaks/leuchie-people

Notes to Editor

For more information about QMU’s Working in the Media module contact Denny Collie at Queen Margaret University, E: dcollie@qmu.ac.uk

For more information about Leuchie House visit: www.leuchiehouse.org.uk

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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