Centrepoint & WaterAid launch their first TV legacy fundraising campaigns

Melanie May | 21 February 2022 | News

A young girl sits in front of a screen, by red funeral flowers for a man called Jack, in a hall
A still from WaterAid’s legacy TV ad, What Jack Gave

Centrepoint’s first legacy TV fundraising campaign airs from today, and has been created in partnership with director Ross Bolidai, who has experienced homelessness himself, while WaterAid’s launched late last week.

Working with creative agency Arthur, Centrepoint commissioned Bolidai to direct the 60 second film titled ‘The Runner’.

It tells the story of a young girl who aspires to be a runner, but has to flee her home due to family conflict, leaving her homeless. With the support of Centrepoint, she is able to get her life back on track and pursue her dreams. The film will be aired from 21 February 2022.


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According to Centrepoint’s latest Youth Homelessness Databank, almost 122,000 young people faced homelessness last year across the UK. Legacy fundraising enables Centrepoint to continue offering life-changing support for young people facing homelessness.

Ross Bolidai, director and Founder of Earthlings Films, said:

“As someone who has lived experience of sofa surfing and rough sleeping, I felt instantly connected to the creative brief for this ad. I knew that this needed to be approached in way that depicts the hardship and struggle of homelessness, but also encourages audiences to understand that homeless young people shouldn’t be defined by their experiences. They have aspirations too and we should be doing everything we can to support them in making these dreams a reality.”

Julie Milnes, Director of Fundraising at Centrepoint, added:

“Ross’s lived experience really stood out to us when we were searching for a director. He was able to connect with and bring the story to life in a way that really captures the difficult decisions and experiences many of the young people we support go through. This makes a huge difference when appealing to audiences who may be considering leaving a gift in their will.


“We know that legacy giving has risen significantly over the last few decades, with donations expected to reach record levels over the next year. During this time, the legacy team have worked hard to challenge how we connect to our legacy audiences. This latest campaign is a testament to their creativity and ambition to grow this stream of fundraising, at a time when Centrepoint’s support is needed more than ever.”

WaterAid launches What Jack Gave

Independent creative agency Don’t Panic with Stink Films and WaterAid have released What Jack Gave – also the charity’s first ever legacy advert – which highlights the lasting impact of donating to its work.

The charity hopes the film’s message will help people to see that giving to WaterAid in their will won’t just be leaving a legacy but starting one, creating lasting change in the lives of others through the gift of clean water. 

The campaign centres around mementos – the quirky, unique but cherished objects that remind us of a person we’ve lost; physical anecdotes of a loved one, making us feel closer and connected to them. The film, What Jack Gave, features the friends and family of ‘Jack’, as they fondly remember him and his life, and hold on to items which he has left behind. Appearing as a seamless tracking shot, the film begins in an old community centre in Dalston, London – a location that feels familiar – and transitions to Zambia, to meet the final character within the film, Mary, who is holding a glass of water.

“He Gave Me Water, Life” reveals that Jack left a gift to WaterAid in his will, and with this, a tap for a community that he never met. His life, and his legacy, has meaning to those who surrounded him and those who benefited from his generous nature.

 Rick Dodds, Creative Partner, Don’t Panic said:

“With such a simple idea, we knew the emotional power would come from the cast and their performance. So we cast people who could call on their own experiences and loved ones. Caroline for example, who we open on, is talking about her late husband. This gave the film an authenticity and power that a ‘fictional script’ couldn’t have achieved. In Zambia, we showed Mary (the final character in the film) the UK section of the shoot, which enabled her to write her own line for the culmination of the film. Again this gave the film an emotional depth that is very authentic and real.


“Music wise, we wanted a track that would feel like Jack’s choice. Something he loved to listen to. The first time I saw your face by Roberta Flack is a magical piece of music that brings Jack’s character and personality to the screen.”

 The campaign marks a fresh approach to communicate WaterAid’s legacy ask (Add water to the world by adding water to your will) to a cold audience who’ve never given to WaterAid.

Dominique Abranson, Legacy & In Memory Lead, WaterAid added:

“Each year, gifts left in wills to WaterAid help transform thousands of lives through clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. More people than ever are choosing to add a charity to their will but WaterAid may not always be front of mind for legacy gifts. We wanted to convey the positive impact your life could have on someone you will never meet, through a gift in your will and to show how your life can have meaning to both your loved ones and those you will never meet. With Don’t Panic and Stink, we worked closely with WaterAid Zambia and the community of Simango to shape the film and our hope is that it will increase legacy giving and consideration to support WaterAid by showing how gifts in wills and clean water impacts communities for generations.”

The 60” hero film and cut downs will be featured across TV and online.