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Ian Gamester

Ian Gamester is crowdfunding

£1,255raised of £60,000 target by 13 supporters

Weʼre raising £60,000 to film the world's first social enterprise feature film

Skelmersdale, Lancashire UK

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"Skem, I Love You" is the world's first social enterprise feature film.

Why Skelmersdale?

Skelmersdale is a small town in Lancashire just outside of Liverpool. It's often derided, cast aside and forgotten about. Skem is represented as a place of poverty, suffering from social issues, which is only one part of Skem's story. Skelmersdale is also home to a thriving community of award winning Social Enterprises that are committed to working with those most vulnerable in our community, delivering life changing work. ‘Skem, I Love You’ is collaborating with these companies and the people who work with them to tell inspiring and unconventional love stories that reflect lives and experiences that don't get to be represented on screen.

What is a social enterprise feature film?

It doesn’t exist, so we’re inventing it!

We are an award-winning social enterprise working in Skelmersdale. We have a long history of delivering innovative and unique project ideas funded by organisations such as Comic Relief, National Lottery Fund, UnLtd, Big Issue Invest, etc. Now we have started our most audacious project yet, the world's first social enterprise feature film.

A Social Enterprise business model will re-invest its profits to a good cause, rather than pay dividends to shareholders. That’s what we intend to do with ‘Skem, I Love You’. Once the film is produced, all profits generated from the film will support an independent ‘Skem, I Love You’ fund made available for Skelmersdale residents to fund creative projects.

Social Enterprise is also at the core of our approach to film production. It’s through our stories that we are able to run actual projects that will have an impact on the community. For instance, in response to a rise in knife crime, we are working with vulnerable Skelmersdale teens, supervised by the older community of skilled retired men who run the Men’s Shed to build a Pyramid Stage made from reused materials. This will be a permanent structure for future arts events in Skelmersdale. The project will be supported by a local building firm, leading to work experience placements for the young participants. Just one example of our innovative approach to film making.

What social enterprises are you working with?

So far we have started to film three of our stories.

Story One  - Junk Food Cafe

The Junk Food Cafe is run by the Birchwood Centre, an award-winning social enterprise in Skelmersdale. The Junk Food Cafe is led by charismatic chef Ian, who shares his ethos of inclusion and ecology taking food donations and feeding the community at a pop up cafe, where people pay what they feel and take home a bag of shopping. Inspired by this Junk Food family, Ian decides to celebrate it. A Junk Food Cafe cookbook! This cookbook is about community cohesion, global food waste and a love for each other and love for our planet.

At the book launch event, Ian declares "I love you". The Junk Food Cafe Family reply "We love you".

Story Two - Divine Days  

Divine Days are an award-winning social enterprise working with people with learning and physical disabilities. Divine Days leader Katie inspires her dancers to create a unique experience for the ones they love the most, those who care for them on a day to day basis. We follow the Divine Days dancers as they plan their special secret performance, a magical event that touches their family, friends and carers.

"We love you" they say.

Story Three - Skem Men Aces 

Skem Men Aces are an award-winning football team made up of people with learning or physical disabilities. Manager Carl and his Head Coach and wife Mim run the club. We follow them as they prepare for a one off fundraising charity game against the Skem Police. When a vulnerable young player finds love on the internet, all is not what it seems. Players rally round to support him in his hour of need. At the last hour the football game is cancelled, the Police bottle it citing an emergency. With the Skem Men Aces raring to go Carl rallies the internet, who wants a game? You won't believe who turns up to play them.

"I love you" says Carl. "I love you" says Mim.

Our most pressing issue is funding our fourth story. This is our "Skem, I Love You" arts festival.

We follow Daniel Carmichael, a poet, actor and stand up comedian from Skelmersdale. He also runs Blank Space Theatre, a creative arts social enterprise. Walking home after performing a stand up gig in Skem he witnesses a scuffle between some kids, a knife is brandished. Thankfully no-one is injured, but Daniel is inspired to do something. He reaches out to the kids, gets them involved in building a Pyramid Stage for an arts festival he wants to run, a festival to celebrate love and unity. They think he's crazy, but he is hard to resist. The Pyramid is built, the festival is set. Or is it? Just when we think the "Skem, I Love You" arts festival is about to implode, the Skelmersdale arts community save the day, with some very surprise guests turning up.

"I love you" declares Dan.

We also have other stories in the pipeline, waiting to be set up.

We also have project ideas aimed at working with the Syrian community, the Polish community, the LGBT community; devising new and unique stories reflecting true experiences. We've already started a ripple through the Skem community and we've only just started production. We’re looking forward to collaborating with as many social enterprises as we can.

Our soundtrack is produced by Big Bambora, a Skem band. They will write and record our theme song "Skem, I Love You" to be performed in the opening musical sequence. We will also record with other Skelmersdale music artists to create our feature film soundtrack. This will be recorded in The E Rooms, a Skem social enterprise.

What does the budget pay for?

The £60,000 budget pays for the whole production of the "Skem, I Love You" feature film. Production is expected to run through to December 2019. Our £60,000 budget is split into two.

£30,000 is spent on production. £30,000 spent on project costs. So each story we film funds a new project initiative that employs Skelmersdale creatives and social enterprises to facilitate the work. Here's a detailed breakdown.

What happens if we exceed our target? All money will be ploughed into further project ideas leading to more innovative stories.

Who benefits?

Skelmersdale. Hopefully we can re-brand Skem as a centre of Social Enterprise excellence and a place of love.

Skelmersdale Social Enterprises involved in the production stand to gain from the international exposure they receive. They will also have the opportunity to fund new project initiatives from the ‘Skem, I Love You’ fund.

Skelmersdale residents are given a unique opportunity to act in a feature film and share their life experiences on screen in an innovative and unique way. All participants will be supported through this journey, with the film production sensitive to their individual needs. We are also committed to leaving a legacy of skills and technical expertise behind. We will work with young talent giving them opportunities to gain experience in film production. We are collaborating with LMA, giving work experience opportunties to recent film and acting graduates.

You. All funding partners for the ‘Skem, I Love You’ feature film will be credited. For all donations under £100 you get a Thank You credit in the end titles. So thank you in advance, you are making a difference.

Any donations above £100 and you receive a Thank You credit in the end titles and a ticket to our Skem screening of the film!

Donations above £1000 and you become a partner. All partners receive a prominent Thank You in the opening credits. This means your name or logo on screen, flanked by dancers at a unique Skem location as part of our opening musical sequence. Think LaLaLand, but with roundabouts. You will also be invited to attend the Premiere. Woooo!

Above £5000 and you are a co-producer. This gets you all the benefits of a partner, as well as the opportunity to attend film festival screenings when we start our promotional push. If you are a Skem business then we can also negotiate your participation in the film as a location or extra. An amazing PR opportunity leading to international exposure, plus an example of your corporate resposnibility in action.

Who am I to make "Skem, I Love You?

We'll be updating our Justgiving page with images from our shoot and updates on our project initiatives. Welcome on board, we hope we do you proud.


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  • Ian Gamester1 day ago
    Ian Gamester

    Ian Gamester

    1 day ago

    Hi everyone, what a week it's been. We made page one of the Skem Champion! Wow! And even more amazingly, we're 1% off the mark! So than you to everyone who has helped so far. We have been busy working on the first of our trailers. So may we humbly present the Junk Food Cafe, and the fantastic work they do. Help us make their cook book become a reality. Spread the word. We need 6000 tenners. X

    Share this update to help us raise more

13 days ago

Ian Gamester started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 8/22/2019 15.47



  • Aine


    Aug 22, 2019


  • Kate


    Aug 22, 2019


  • Anonymous


    Aug 22, 2019

    Before I worked for a social enterprise I never realised how these organisations help so many people in life changing ways .... good luck Ian ... you're doing a wonderful thing x


  • Anonymous


    Aug 21, 2019

  • Anonymous


    Aug 21, 2019

    Love the idea, love Skem, if 3000 of the 50K residents donate £20 each you’ve cracked it. Good luck.


  • Kathryn Kavanagh

    Kathryn Kavanagh

    Aug 21, 2019

    Can't wait to see you on the red carpet Ian!Best of luck #LoveSkem


  • The Sewing Rooms

    The Sewing Rooms

    Aug 21, 2019

    Ian, good luck we are so proud to be part of this amazing filmfrom all at the Sewing Rooms


Ian Gamester

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About the fundraiser
Ian Gamester

Ian Gamester

Skelmersdale, Lancashire UK

I'm a film maker working for clients including BBC, Channel 4, Comic Relief, National Lottery, Sony, Universal, Warner. I have shot over 100 music videos working in New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Bangkok, Paris. As a lecturer I have run filmmaking projects in Africa, UAE and the UK.

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