Manor Park Media
Manor Park Media
Manor Park Media
Manor Park Media . 2024 . Newham, London
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Manor Park Media . 2024 . Newham, London
“Because the thing about programmes like this one… is that it does work. Creativity does provide work, it can provide opportunities. It’s not a perfect science, but it does work. We’ve not even scratched the surface of what we could do with these young people and others in this area of Newham, because they just have lived lives that people could not imagine. And I think, “Funders, open your wallets”, let's get this thing going, because there’s a lot of work to do!” Timi Akindele-Ajani, Photographer and Filmmaker working for the Peter Marlow Foundation on the Manor Park Media project.

Our latest project is the creation of a collective called Manor Park Media. The collective came together through a collaboration between Newham based youth mentoring organisation Be Heard As One and the young people they support, The Magnum Photos Foundation and the Peter Marlow Foundation. Be Heard As One is a grassroots youth support charity who use their unique life skills, creativity, safeguarding approach and deep community connections to support young people.

The project points to the important role youth workers play in sign posting and supporting opportunities for young people impacted by multiple inequalities, but in many cases the youth workers have also experienced barriers to participation in these spaces. Cultural institutions want to reflect and serve their local communities but in many cases they don’t have deep connections into all parts of the community. This is something we are addressing through this work.

BHAO, MPF and PMF worked with SEEit Working Trust and Taking Shape Association to undertake “Rules of Engagement Learning – RoEL©” that were developed to provide a framework for youth workers and arts organisations to co-design programmes for the young people they work with and unlock personalised progression pathways for them.

SEEit Working Trust has designed RoEL© sessions, facilitated by youth workers, around 7 themes: Knowledge; Access; Engagement; Participation; Learning; Progression and Legacy. Over 8 sessions, the group worked with young people who live in the historically underserved Manor Park area using photography and a range of storytelling tools to explore, publish and exhibit stories about their life experiences and perspectives. The programme is building vocational skills and career progression pathways as well as supporting creativity, confidence and well-being through the creation and presentation of these stories.

The project was one of 10 selected to receive funding from the Foundation for Future London’s Collaborative Commissions, co-funded by the City of London. The Collaborative Commissions aim to support projects that unlock further under- standing on how creativity can be used to deliver arts, education, employment programming that provides creative learning opportunities, employment and leadership roles, training and fusion skills development.

You can see the first stage of the project here.

We have just received significant second phase funding from the Foundation for Future London to continue the collaboration between the young people, youth workers and creative organisations involved.

With special thanks to Fujifilm UK.