The Salters' Institute
Moving into the limelight

Film & Campaign Description

Why we made our charity film: In 2024, we are launching a new 3-day residential chemistry programme for children aged 13 to 14 years old, aimed at providing an opportunity for children from underserved communities, especially care experienced children to gain practical laboratory experience, explore and celebrate chemistry and be inspired to pursue chemistry as a subject and future career.

Most children at 13 years of age face making their GCSE subject choices. This can be daunting for most of us, as our decision can determine our future. Many of us have the support of family, friends, and teachers. Yet imagine being 13, facing crucial decisions about your future, without trusted guidance due to being in care. This reality confronts thousands of children each year.

There are approximately 100,000 children within the care system each year. When you are in care, looking into the future is not a reality as the constant movement from one home to anther creates a chain reaction of disruption within their education and wellbeing and can have an impact on their future. 

Every child deserves the best chance.

The Salters new chemistry residential initiative offers a unique chance to invest in the potential of care-experienced and underserved children. With 60 available places, over 50% are dedicated to care experienced children. Through this programme, the young people will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in chemistry, carry out experiments at a UK university, embrace university life, and engage with professionals from the chemical industry, all while making new friendships and expanding their horizons. This experience holds the potential to transform their futures.

At Salters we are keen to open doors, invest in potential and make chemistry accessible to all. 

The film campaign: The aim was to show why we should invest in care experienced children, why this programme can help to transform lives, and raise awareness on this group of young people who are often forgotten and whose voice is unheard.

It was important for the voice of the care experienced young person to be at the front and centre of the campaign. It meant the audience could hear their story in their own words as well as why this programme had the potential to being transformative.

To raise awareness and support for this initiative, we created the film "Moving into the Limelight." Premiered at our fundraising gala, the film featured the inspiring stories of two young women who overcame challenges in the care system. Casey who is studying Astrophysics at university felt passionate about speaking in the film as she felt alone with no one to guide her and show her the possibilities. Their experiences showcased the potential waiting to be unlocked within countless others and the importance of believing in the potential of young people in care. Their raw honesty and determination resonated deeply with the audience, leading to a successful fundraising campaign that exceeded our goals.

It is the personal story which has the greatest impact on an audience and help to make our campaign feel tangible and human. Through people’s stories we wanted to show how our new chemistry residential could make a difference. As well as hearing Casey and Louise's story, we hear the stories from science teachers and their experience of teaching in schools in areas of high pupil premium and high deprivation. They recount why Salters’ programmes can make a difference to inspire their students to believe they too can be part of the world of chemistry and science. We wanted the film to reflect the work taking place at the Institute and so showcased one of our Festivals of Chemistry Discovery Day. Secondary school students attend a UK university to carry out a practical, listen to the latest research taking place and have a Q&A with people in industry.

Since the gala dinner, the original film has been made into four shorts so we can use to target specific audiences and extend our reach. As well as showcasing specific areas of the campaign it can direct traffic to our website for people to learn more.

The making of the film: I worked with the amazing film maker, Ben Burman, who I had worked with in the past and completely trusted could translate our concept and message to a moving story. It was a challenging film to make as it takes a lot of courage for people to come forward and speak openly about growing up in the care system. Finding people willing to speak took an immense amount of time in the pre-production process. Through Ben’s network, the two amazing young women in the film spoke eloquently and articulated their story of life in care and why people need to believe in their potential.

Ben wanted to give the film a uniqueness that would evoke emotion. He shot the film on a set of modified vintage Leica lenses. He found pairing 40 years old glass with modern camera sensors gave a less sharp, more textured look with real character and was perfect for the stories we were telling.

No script was used, as we wanted people to tell their own story in their own words and ensure authenticity in the film. So the film flowed seamlessly, we interweaved people’s stories with who Salters are and the programme to culminate in the call to action which was posed in a way to allow the audience to reflect and feel inspired to give.

This film is more than just a campaign; it's a call to action. By donating to "Into the Limelight," you can invest in the future of care-experienced children, opening doors to exciting careers in science and beyond.

The Salters' Institute

The Salters’ Institute is an education charity whose mission for over 100 years is to inspire the next generation of chemists for research and industry and create a world where chemistry is a force for good. Today, it is dedicated to promoting the teaching, learning and appreciation of chemistry and chemical engineering. 

We bring students and educators together to explore the wonders of chemistry, its role in our world, and the exciting career paths it can lead to. We are widely recognised for our innovative outreach programmes, science curriculum development in schools at GCSE and ‘A’ level, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our programmes combine the use of digital platforms and in-person outreach and extend across the UK with a focus on areas of high community need.

We are committed to giving all young people the opportunity to experience the excitement of chemistry, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Research tells us that direct access to learning and seeing opportunities can have an incredible impact on young people. Our programmes, awards, and alumni network are designed to help create a sustainable talent pipeline that gives young people opportunities to immerse themselves in chemistry, meet people in industry, and develop their potential talent.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

We align with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: