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Rendezvous covid film Gillingham
A shot at the skateboard park from the film, which was fronted by Alisha.

The way in which young people view and have coped with the Covid pandemic in Gillingham has been captured in a short film.

‘Covid & Me – Rendezvous Gillingham, Dorset’ is a moving seven-minute exploration of the impact of the Coronavirus and the first lockdown as seen through the eyes of young people in the town.

The project was funded by Dorset Council and overseen by The Rendezvous, who carry out outreach work in Gillingham that is funded by the town council. The film was shot over two months after the first lockdown.

‘Film is such a great way to let young people’s voices be heard talking for themselves rather than being talked about,’ said The Rendezvous’s chef executive Helen Da Silva Wood. ‘We were so impressed by the young people we met and  their willingness to talk openly about how the pandemic has affected them.  We’re grateful to them for their honesty – and of course Dorset Council for funding the project.

‘We’ve had some great feedback on the film with comments ranging from “fantastic”, “what a brilliant film to have produced in times like these” through to “it made me quite emotional”.  Film-making relies on team-work and collaboration, taking responsibility and respecting others and can teach really valuable life-skills.

Helen added: ‘Because of Covid, the documentary was less participative than we had originally planned but our young presenter, Alisha, was an absolute natural and has done a great job.  We’re really hopeful that we will be able to work with more young people to produce films for the Gillingham community and have a few ideas up our sleeves but need to secure some more funding first!’

The film can be viewed here:  Covid & Me – Rendezvous Gillingham, Dorset – YouTube

The Rendezvous wish to thank the following people and organisations publicly:

  • All the young people we talked to – those on film and those who didn’t quite make the final cut.  They all had something to say.

  • Alisha for the effort she put into making the film happen and developing strong scripting and interviewing skills

  • Ciara for allowing us to use her amazing music track and video as the soundtrack to the film

  • Dorset Council for funding the project and allowing us to adapt the initial project idea because of Covid-19

  • Gillingham Town Council for their constant support and belief in young people (by funding the Gillingham Outreach project they started the whole Rendezvous journey into North Dorset…).

  • Marianne at SilvaKing CIC for her never-ending patience and good humour in the face of ever-changing rules, lock-downs, people self-isolating and bad weather

  • Lou and Bekah, the outreach team who engaged the young people, acted as boom operators when needed and helped make it all happen

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