Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side

The Cartoon Network, part of the giant Time Warner media empire, has a partnership with YCTV, which helps young people learn broadcasting skills.

RICHARD KILGARIFF, HEAD OF THE CARTOON NETWORK

We have been involved with various charities, including ChildLine, Unicef and the NSPCC. YCTV has been on our radar because a lot of the kids who benefit from the charity are our target audience.

Obviously we think it does a great job, but the fact that the partnership allows us to tap into the opinions, values and psyches of young people is important to us.

To do this we have to contribute towards something YCTV does, and the most appropriate way of doing this seemed to be through animation.

Animation is part of the media course at YCTV and, as part of the biggest cartoon network in the world, we can help. The relationship gives our creative staff, many of whom haven't had children of their own yet, a direct link to young people.

So it's not pure altruism - the partnership has a creative practical function because it provides us with a living, breathing focus group.

It's an ongoing relationship that works on a project-by-project basis. Our staff go over there three or four times a month, and I've become a board member of YCTV.

GILLIAN GORDON, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF YOUTH CHARITY YCTV

The partnership started after our founder, Sabrina Guinness, met Richard Kilgariff last year. Afterwards we all went out for lunch. Cartoon Network has a refreshing attitude to corporate responsibility. It believes in supporting young people and is therefore open and responsive to our work.

Cartoon Network is part of the Turner Broadcasting System, a Time Warner company, and that has presented us with some great opportunities for our kids. Some of them visited the CNN newsroom in London a month ago.

Cartoon Network donated some money to help us develop our animation suite.

The kids wanted a huge mural on the wall of the suite and, with Turner's help, they created one, which has transformed the whole feel of the studio.

We have been able to create an environment that is kid-friendly in a suite full of computer software. Richard is incredibly positive and energetic, with a great creative business mind. For a charity such as YCTV, which is trying to move to a social enterprise model, we are very lucky to have him on our board.

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