We’ve run three workshops for Engage London at City during May, and four of the team went to Romania. It seems that getting media savvy has inspired some of our @hearmespeak group to use cameras and commentary in new ways. And we’ve learnt some things too…
>>1 Doing something for mental health awareness
Brandon Richards was unlucky to miss the Romania trip owing to a visa glitch. We’re all proud at the way he saw this as a hiccup not a setback and we hope he’ll be able to be part of the team at the Brussels workshop in June. This is a shout out he’s done for design services, P R OTO N E Phenomenon, and mental health awareness. Follow on his insta @the_phencrew You can also read an interview with Brandon here.
Brandon’s just made a crowdfunding page, here’s why: “My problem is equipment. I need a computer, and a camera. My equipment would cost £500 and I’d be able to do things on it. I want to make videos. That video below is from an app. It’s just 40 seconds but it took four hours to make.”
Action: many homeless young people struggle to have the right documentation. For the purposes of Engage London we have now tried to get all the Pilion Trust team to apply for passports. For media trainers this was an unexpected discovery about what needed to be done.
>>2 Film a place we volunteer
Misgana Asefa, is a keen footballer, part of the Pilion Trust and Engage London, who is working hard to improve his English. He enjoyed working on the TV Question Time at City for #HearMeSpeak, showing real skill on the sound equipment. Misgana volunteers at a unique cafe and urban growing centre, the Skip Garden, every Friday. The Skip Garden is in King’s Cross, not far from the station where you catch the Eurostar.
King’s Cross is much more than a station. It’s also a place to hang out and has amazing restaurants and cafes. Even so the Skip Garden is really special. Not only does it serve up fantastic food from local ingredients, the Skip Garden is a moveable growing centre. Skips (normally used for builder’s rubble and rubbish) are filled with soil and planted with herbs, vegetables and even espalier fruit trees. The skips are located on a site that’s not being built on at the rapidly changing King’s Cross. When building gets the green light the whole garden – skips and buildings – are picked up (or dismantled) and moved to a new spot. All this Misgana conveys as he shows us round the Skip Garden, while being filmed by Rahim Amin, who is also a Pilion Trust and #hearmespeak team member.
Action: to build on this we hope that the City students will work in pairs with some of the Pilion Trust to help develop their projects – once the summer exams are over. One of the problems the Pilion Trust members have found is that they want to keep working on media projects but sometimes find it hard to access the right equipment. That’s the reason Misghana’s film can’t be downloaded – and it’s why Brandon is having to crowdfund.
>>3 Workshop in Romania
Savvas Panas, CEO of the Pilion Trust, Barbara Schofield who heads City’s journalism department plus Pandora Khody and Surelle Stevens went to Romania. City journalism students couldn’t attend this time because they all had exams. The team carefully prepared a presentation to showcase all the good things Engage London has been doing.
Engage London also joined digital reporting workshops, run by trainers Loredana Bertișan, a journalist at Biziday, and Cătălin Nunu, introduced participants to digital media in all of its forms, including social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Surelle had a go at sports reporting. Pandora did outside broadcasting for TV.
Action: we’re getting ready for the Brussels workshop in June, and preparing for our London event in October.
>>4 Enjoying the new Engage EuropeFacebook page
Find it at https://www.facebook.com/EngageForEurope/?modal=admin_todo_tour
All Engage Europe are invited to meet the whole Engage London team and join our #HearMeSpeak events in London at City university and the Pilion Centre’s base in Islington from Thursday, 11 October – Saturday 13 October.