Thriving in the difficult 2020, Embracing a prosperous 2021

Report of 2020 Outcomes and 2021 Plans

Course Diary #7

Welcome to 2021

January, 2021

Thank you for checking out our 2020 outcome report and 2021 plans. We at Creative Sparkworks wish you a safe and happy new year!

The past year was not easy for most of us. Despite the ongoing pandemic, employment difficulties, separation and isolation, we at Creative Sparkworks have been actively supporting our students and community. We are proud of what we have achieved and are determined to move forward in the new year.

A Fruitful 2020

Despite the UK unemployment rate being on the rise (with the creative industry in particular badly affected), 22 of our EQUIP and Walcot Foundation course students have obtained paid work in the film and TV industry, with 2 following on to additional arts programmes.

 

We offered a FREE 6-month online course (‘Digi-sparks ignites your online career’, kindly granted by the Walcot Foundation) to 15 young Lambeth residents in identified financial need last autumn. The European Social Fund and the Education Skills Funding Agency, funded us to deliver two more FREE film and TV skills and employment programmes to 23 unemployed young adults on Universal Credit, 16 of whom gained some entry-level paid work in the industry. ScreenSkills is sponsoring, with FilmFixer, a pilot FREE course ‘Set Ready Training‘ in late January for 25 of our trainees.

 

Being proactive and hardworking, our students were highly praised by some of the most notable production companies in the UK. They talked about their experience of finding jobs in the industry, and their employers shared their feedback with us. Check out our new dedicated testimonial page!

 

My time with Creative Sparkworks gave me the resources, understanding and support I needed to get me my first big job in scripted TV. I joined as the first lockdown was starting and the people at Sparkworks helped keep me motivated and ready for when things opened up again. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am now and and their support and knowledge has been invaluable in helping me get started in the Film and TV industry.

Emile

Yr 2020 student, Creative Sparkworks

We’ve all been really impressed with Emile. He’s really gotten stuck in and approached every task with a positive and proactive attitude. I would happily recommend him to other productions and hope I get the opportunity to work with him again in the future.

Jonah Mayfield

Jr Production Manager, BBC Studios

We are also thrilled to be approached by the BBC studios, ITV talent manager, Sony Pictures, Women in Film and TV etc. because of what we do — we proudly help young Lambeth residents from underrepresented groups (socially and economically disadvantaged, ethnicity minority groups, neuro-diverse groups etc.) to get into the UK film and TV industry and support them to have a voice.

We are determined to carry on and advance our services in the new year, and we look forward to expanding our services to more London boroughs.

Watch our Free Film Course Promo!

Edited by Film2Learn2£arn graduate Leo

Our support

According to the BBC and a study led by Glasgow University, Lockdown had a major impact on the UK’s mental health, including increased rates of suicidal thoughts. Certain groups are said to be more at risk: Young people, women and individuals from more socially disadvantaged backgrounds and those with pre-existing mental health problems reported the worst mental health outcomes in the initial phase of the national lockdown. It has continued to increase steadily during the past few months, with no concrete end in sight with exceptionally high unemployment.

We have had to completely change the way we deliver our accredited skills and employment training in ALL 3 media programmes; we adjusted the content to be Covid-safe by hosting 100% online through Zoom workshops, WhatsApp groups, one-on-one intensive mentoring sessions, Inspirational Speaker Events with Q&A, weekly check-in calls., with special thanks to our course lead, tutors, youth employment manager, CEO, and mental health support keyworker.

The Zoom Experience

While our students receive excellent online employability training, they tell us they are missing the hands-on technical kit training, the friendly vibe of media workshop, the profound (and therapeutic) ‘participatory group’ experience of being a ‘crew’, as well as the collaborative experience of writing and making a group film for employment showreels.

The dedicated part-time staff work overtime maintaining team spirit and effective training, struggling with impact of furlough, SEISS, UC, not seeing colleagues in the office, family and friends; our trustees have the same experiences. Over the next 3 – 6 months we envisage continuing with remote working; however we want to return to some face-to-face delivery as soon as feasible within the limits of the Tier system, and the impact of the vaccination programme. We plan an opening screening celebration in May.

 

Looking back on filming together in the workshop:

We look forward to coming out of lockdowns.

We are also proud to support our local young Lambeth residents, especially on the China Walk estate, with help from the China Walk TRA and Chandlers Hall manager Kirsty. We delivered socially distanced arts and crafts programmes for local children (the ‘Buzzy Beez’) when the situation allowed, during summer and October half-term. And we look forward to providing more creative activities for local communities.

The Buzzy Beez Highlights

Photographed and Edited by Fiona, our Buzzy Beez tutor

A Brighter 2021

We were invited by Eoin Heffernan, Director of Lambeth’s Integrate, to join 110 other youth sector Lambeth organisations to learn more about the new ‘Lambeth Youth Opportunities‘ – an exciting plan to support the Lambeth youth sector. We also look forward to working with other small charities and strive for a better future for our youths.

As the new bid writing season has opened, our key team led by our CEO Sylvia Edwards have been working hard for new grants, such as the London Community Fund Wave 4 response ‘Navigating the Crisis’. We are also thrilled to be given a grant by Sony Pictures.

We are delighted to be invited to film the Lambeth Country Show in 2021 – we were their official filmming provider in 2018 and 2019 (the show was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020). The 2019 Lambeth Country Show official highlights, filmed by Sparkworks’ young people, received very positive feedback from the Show and the Council. We look forward to the wonderful event this year.

BBC Earth Shoot

with our Year 2020 students

About Film2Learn2£arn

Funded by the Walcot Foundation, the course provides free inclusive filmmaking skills and employment training, with paid work experience.

We started our first Film2Learn2£arn course in 2013, in response to requests from young people in our locality.

We aim to increase our young people’s general wellbeing, education, skills and employment through the arts.

Since when, we have delivered industry approved and funded film skills and employment training courses to over 100 young adults, 85% of whom have moved into paid entry level work in the industry, 5% entered higher education, 5% are in full-time other jobs or training.

We are here for Lambeth’s next generation.

We want to hear from you

If you are a film/TV professional, we’d like to invite you to do a motivational speech/lecture for our students!

If you feel like lending us a hand, any form of donation will be so helpful! (Kit donation is great too!)

If you are a prospective student, contact us now to book your free place for next year! You may have the chance to come in and discover more about the course.

If you are just interested in what we do and want to find out how to help, or to collaborate, we’d love to hear from you too!

Contact us now by emailing info@creative-sparkworks.org or ring 020 7735 9095, we want to hear from you!

Why not say hello on social media?

Check out our quality content and regular updates!

Participate in our young people’s journey and join our interesting activities!