SYM – Sandown and Lake
“As a person with anxiety, I feel like, having a go at making this huge project has really given me the confidence to do big things like that. At first I was really nervous, I thought ‘I’m going to mess things up if I do something – it’s not going to be that great if it comes from me.’ But now I look at some of the shots I took and I think, ‘hey, they’re pretty good’. I feel it has really impacted on my confidence.”Olivia Rose Padina-Grey, Sandown & Lake Youth Forum member.
The first project to launch was the Sandown and Lake Youth Forum’s. This group was set up by Community Action Isle of Wight’s Bay Resilience programme, with support from Energise me, and includes a diverse range of young people, including some on the edge of criminal activity, home educated, young people with anxiety, SEN, neurodiversity and physical disabilities.
The Sandown & Lake Youth Forum worked with Bruce Webb for in excess of 50 hours and were involved in all aspects of the film’s production, from storyboarding and planning shots, location filming, writing interview questions, interviewing, operating camera and sound, being interviewees, dramatic reconstructions, filming vox pops, and directing. They have produced a thought-provoking and powerful 15 minute film which was premiered at Sandown Library to around 90 people, including town and IW councillors, police, youth workers and local businesses, on 3rd February.
The youth voice element of this project meant that (adult) expectations were confounded from the outset. Having explored various types of public art with the young people, the expectation was that they would want to produce something like a sculpture or mural, but they were absolutely adamant that their piece of public art would be a film about living in the Sandown & Lake area as a young personThey were ambitious and clear-sighted about what their film could achieve. They had identified that the lack of youth provision in the area and easy access to derelict hotels was fuelling antisocial behaviour and there were no safe spaces for young people to meet in the evenings. They wanted their film to be a political lobbying tool to promote change in the town – possibly reopen a youth club – and, at their dragons’ den, appointed filmmaker Bruce Webb to help them make it.
“I really feel like my voice has been heard and that I’ve done something to help Sandown. The Forum has definitely helped raise my confidence and allowed me to be creative when school doesn’t really.”Betty, Sandown & Lake Youth Forum member.
Supporting Young Minds on the Isle of Wight is part of a larger region-wide programme supporting young people’s mental health through creativity. Managed on the Isle of Wight by Independent Arts on behalf of The Island Collection and the Isle of Wight CEP, it is part of Artwork’s Supporting Young Minds investment programme.