BCA develop projects that are needs driven and the proposed ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô project is no different. ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô has been designed to attract and support disengaged youth living in two of Bedford‚Äôs poorest areas, specifically Cauldwell and Clapham. Cauldwell is one of three areas in Bedford that are amongst the East of England‚Äôs most deprived urban areas. The three wards rank amongst the 5% most disadvantaged in the region and 15% most disadvantaged in England (2000 Index of Local Deprivation, DETR). Although Clapham is a rural parish, it like Cauldwell has identified a need to develop community cohesion particularly in relation to its young people.
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The aim of the ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô project is to offer new skills and training using technology and resources that travel to the communities in which the young people live. With a collective experience of in excess of fifty years, BCA‚Äôs three Project Workers have established strong links with local community groups and are well qualified to lead this essential work. Initial discussions with the projects target audience consistently indicate an interest in new media and digital technology. ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô will provide young people with a forum in which they can express themselves whilst working towards a tangible end product in the form of a short film, about whatever they choose. The young people will benefit from the opportunity to develop creative skills and stretching their imagination that is vital in shaping their identity, their sense of self as well as developing new and transferable skills. Past experience of working with this audience has informed the flexible approach to be adopted by the lead project worker in how the sessions are structured and where they will take place. The ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô Project will travel to the communities where the young people live. The project will enable the participants to use ‚Äònew media‚Äô in creative ways, by producing filmed material on a mobile phone or a digital camera, discovering skills such as editing processes and then enjoying the results. The content and direction of each film will be influenced only by the group‚Äôs own areas of interest and knowledge of technology. Moreover, ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô meets the needs of the participating young people, their families, the communities in which they live and the other interested agencies. Plus, the project has the potential for sustainability, to continue in the future but within a different setting. BCA are keen to maintain relationships with all that participate in the ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô Project. The ideal outcome is that the projects participants continue to make use of BCA ‚Äòs facilities, specifically the media suite at the High Street venue, where they would be able to develop their editing skills. The work generated as part of the ‚ÄòWhatever‚Äô Project will form part of the BCA Showcase 2009, a biennial exhibition at BCA Gallery which promotes the eclectic mix of work generated through BCA‚Äôs Outreach delivery.
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