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Gillingham Mayor Barry Von Clemens, Councillor Val Pothecary and the Media Makers student team.Over the last eight weeks Gillingham School students have been taking part in a Media Makers Club through the Gillingham Youth Collective.

The club has involved young people working after-school developing media skills ranging from multi-camera shoots through to interviewing and live vision mixing, culminating in a ‘Big Show’ showcasing their achievements.

The Big Show last Monday was a real community event, with parents enjoying the show alongside Gillingham Mayor Barry Von Clemens, councillors Byron Quayle and Val Pothecary, Jules Bond from Gillingham Community Church and Karen Johnson, representing the Social Prescribing Team and Gillingham Youth Club.

The young people have benefited from working alongside the Rendezvous’ resident film-maker Marianne King, project leader Lou Donovan and tech specialist Julian Bishop. They have had access to professional equipment and undertaken a range of projects including green screening, mobile journalism, graphics and post production techniques. They were also supported by Head of Media Studies at Gillingham School, Dan Jones and former Top Gear presenter Nicky Fox.

Mel Marshall, Assistant Head teacher at Gillingham School, said: ‘The collaboration with the Gillingham Youth Collective has been an amazing opportunity for allowed our students to access professional training in media making, building both their skills and confidence.’

Students involved have really enjoyed the experience, which is now in its second year. One said: ‘I liked being able to use/do things that we wouldn’t normally, like vision mixing and using lots of proper equipment”.

Another relished the team building element, saying they enjoyed ‘hanging around and working with the other members of the project, and getting to be myself”. Parents have also seen their children’s confidence grow through the project. One said: ‘Media makers has really inspired my son so much he has applied for a TV Film Level 3 course at Wiltshire College.’

The Gillingham Youth Collective is a young people’s partnership project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. Led by The Rendezvous and working with Gillingham Youth Club they believe that by working collaboratively they can achieve more for young people (11-19) in the north Dorset area.

Rendezvous said about the Media Club:’We are very proud of the commitment and enthusiasm the Media-Makers have brought to the project and grateful for the support of all the team at Gillingham School.

‘We know there are lots hard and soft skills to be gained through the team-work involved in film production but it’s always great to see young people grow and gain confidence whilst having fun.
‘We’re looking forward to running the next group but in the meantime some of our film-makers will be going off into the community to produce a promotional film for a youth group running in Gillingham.’

The Gillingham Youth Collective project involves:

·       a Media-Makers film project run by The Rendezvous
·       a Young Leadership programme run by Gillingham Youth Club and
·       a range of activities run collaboratively and decided upon by young people themselves

The project will run until 2026 and will involve activities and events for young people (11-19).


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