Space to Create: supporting charitable projects and producers working in film and media

Space to Create: supporting charitable projects and producers working in film and media

More often than not, giving to others delivers the greatest reward. Over the years we have worked with numerous charitable, non-profit and campaigning organisations, which not only have produced some incredible results and content, but have taught us so much and introduced us to some truly inspiring individuals.

Media content, as any of us are aware of by now, plays a crucial part in promoting businesses and their work within an ever-increasingly competitive market, both on and off-line. Delivering high-quality, professionally produced, accessible content to share across digital platforms means that charities can reach far greater lengths and make themselves known, while also having the opportunity and literal ‘space’ to create.

Back in 2018, we had the privilege of being the setting for a very special project with Style For Soldiers, a charity that provides smart, well-fitting, formal clothing to the numerous soldiers who were injured during service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Founded by Emma Willis MBE in response to the multiple casualties incurred during the conflict, her work began at the Military Rehabilitation Hospital, measuring patients for bespoke clothing that would be gifted to them as a thanks for their bravery and sacrifice, and as a very practical introduction into life outside the military when these individuals were discharged from military service due to their life-changing injuries – ‘a new uniform was needed.’

We welcomed acclaimed war photographer, Giles Duley, into the studio for a unique photo-shoot, capturing veterans in their bespoke garments and documenting two celebrated artists – Martin Wade and Stewart Hill – both of whom rediscovered their love of art through rehabilitation following their service and experiences of casualty in the armed forces. One of the charity’s ambassadors, David Gandy, also made an appearance to support and contribute to the project – a bringing together of creative collaborators for a unique project curated by Style for Soldiers: ‘Art in the Aftermath’ (


This exhibition and series of events centred around communicating the healing psychological powers of art, starring four artists (Wade and Hill included) who had suffered specific brain-damaging injuries in service.

(Left to Right: David Gandy, Emma Willis MBE, Giles Duley)


As another fantastic example of such meaningful work, in 2016 First Option Studio provided the setting for a day’s filming for Mindbox, an online subscription-based service founded and set-up by TV presenter, journalist and producer Anna Richardson and Gareth Ogden. Mindbox delivers tried and tested techniques for helping to overcome experiences of stress, anxiety and to support and encourage communication around mental health overall.

“Not only does it make me feel better, I feel like It’s actually targeting the cause. It’s not just brushing over the symptoms, it’s actually trying to get to the root of what’s going on with me” – Mindbox subscriber

The founders, production team and additional guests to feature spent the day here at the studio, filming content to go towards a campaigning and introductory video for the services and concept behind Mindbox. Behind the Scenes footage and photos are now also featured on the Mindbox website. You can watch the final video edit here:


Throughout First Option’s history, we’ve sought to support individuals and organisations that seek to make a difference. We’ve been inspired to do more to open our doors to more charitable and life-changing causes. From now until the end of the year (2023), First Option is offering charitable organisations a 35% discounted hire rate, with the hope to facilitate more generous work and opportunities to give back to communities and to people or areas in our industries that are in need of attention. If you are reading this as a member of a charity or non-profit organisation working in our industry, or you’re looking to hire space to create stills, advertorial or film content for your organisation, then please do get in touch with us directly to learn more about how we can work together. Our dry hire venue space, facilities, and support are open to all to use and curate in order to record, shoot, or host live content or activities in order to help communicate your own message and to bring together inspiring people.