Friday, 18 December 2009

Season's Greetings!

We'd just like to say a big thank you to all those that have supported the UNITY project during 2009 and to all the young people that have worked with us over the past few months.

Our offices will be closed for two weeks now over the holidays but we'll be back in action from the 4th January 2010. We're really looking forward to all the exciting projects we have coming up in the new year so watch this space for details of how you can be involved.

Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year!

From Ina, Stephanie and everyone at Bread.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Have your say....

Over the past few months we've worked on a large variety of projects with young people from across Bristol. Here's what they have to say about what they've done:

St Paul's Carnival

'It was amazing to see all the different floats, seeing the different colours and the vibrancy of everything. I found it interesting recording the interviews that were going on and it really made me think about how to place the microphone to get the best recording. I enjoyed collecting background noise to build up an audio story of the day and I learnt a lot from listening to how other people do interviews which made me think how I could improve my own technique. It was interesting listening to everybody's roles within the carnival and how they made it happen. I want to work in acoustics in the future so the day gave me an insight into another job that uses the skills I have in a different way. It was nice to see people didn't have any inhibitions about working with people from different cultures and I enjoyed seeing everyone gathered together to celebrate the same thing. I didn't realise there were so many diverse people in Bristol and this is the first time I've been to the carnival. I really enjoyed the day and it showed a different side to Bristol that hadn’t seen before.' - Callum, 19

Bristol Asian Mela

'At the Mela I learnt how to interview people and take photos to share the event with other people who weren't there. I am interested in photography and sharing sights with other people. I will use the skills I learnt to further my knowledge of photography and learning more about new cultures. Being somewhere I would normally feel uncomfortable, but it was great 'cos I felt so welcome and comfortable and enjoyed every minute of it. I tried some food there, which I have never eaten before. After trying one thing I felt more open to trying new things because it didn't seem so gross. Even though our cultures are different, we are the same in so many ways. And we all just had a great time working together as a team. The main highlight was enjoying myself and getting a henna tattoo. Everybody there was really friendly and I would absolutely love to go there again as I had such a great day and would recommend it to friends.' - Natalie-Jade,18

UNITY Peer Education Sessions - Docklands Youth Club 
I'm really enjoying the sessions. I do like working in larger groups but its nice having a more intimate session in a smaller group. This sort of training is right up my street as it's helping me learn and improve. Learning is a big part of my life and ever since I left school I just try and take any chance I get to learn new stuff.' - Linzy, 21 

Mela Post-Production at the BBC
'I enjoyed editing with Jamie and I managed to get the gist of what he was doing. I learnt more about audio editing and I really liked the fast pace of the day. The environment was really relaxed and it was good to be involved.' - Adrian, 22

Bread Residential
'I found it really really good. Everything is still really new to me so it's nice to see how many great people are involved with BREAD. I thought wow this is amazing. The best thing was probably just meeting everyone and learning what all their skills are. It made me want to definitely get involved more and pursue more youth work stuff. I can definitely see myself in one of those roles in the future.' - Linzy, 21

BBC Face 2 Face Workshops 

'It was a really practical and hands-on experience, working with a different mentor each day and being treated like staff gave me a real feeling of what it would be like to work at the BBC. We worked with young people from different groups to create a film around the theme "Is the BBC for me?". We all got the opportunity to try each role in our groups from interviewing, to using the camera and working on audio. I learnt some new skills such as how to set up shots and improved my interviewing technique. All the people who worked with us were really relaxed and easy to talk to, we even got the chance to meet the head of BBC Bristol. It was a very rewarding experience and I've made lots of contacts. Over the next 12 weeks I'll be attending workshops to polish my skills and learn more about the industry and I hope to be doing some work with BBC Blast in the future.' - Oneil, 22 

'I really enjoyed interviewing weatherman Richard Anguin as he was a cool person and helped us develop the idea of our film. I think the workshops made a difference to me as I gained a lot of knowledge of people working in the newsroom and it helped me make new contacts. Is the BBC for me? Yes I do think it is for me. It was a real eye opener working here the last couple of days. I saw the highs and lows and now know what to expect. It was a lot of pressure working on something, having only 1 day to film and 1 day to edit but I got a real buzz from being so busy. I'm definitely going to be taking up the offer of mentoring and plan to focus more on the behind the scenes aspects of production. I just want to say thank you to UNITY, BREAD and the BBC for this opportunity, it was really important to me.' - Adrian, 22 

You can see photos and videos of all our past projects on our Flickr and youtube sites.

Monday, 30 November 2009

New promo materials for UNITY

We've been slaving away to update our promo materials so here's sneak peek of our new leaflets that will be hitting the streets in 2010.....

We'll be recruiting lots of peer eductaors for exciting projects in the new year so watch this space for details of opportunities comming up in the next few months.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

BBC Face 2 Face Scheme

On Monday 23rd November 2009 six UNITY volunteers went to BBC Bristol to participate in a three-day training event called Face 2 Face. The scheme is about providing training and support to young people from diverse backgrounds who aspire to a career in the media. During the initial 3 day event our volunteers worked with other young people to produce a 5-minute film supported by BBC staff exploring their response to the question, is the BBC for me? The aim of this was to engage them in a dialogue about their views of the BBC as a media producer and potential employer.

The key questions they looked at were:
Does the BBC's output interest, engage and entertain them?
Does it represent them, their views and experiences?
Would they consider the BBC as a place to work, would they fit in and feel at home here?

The volunteers...
We spoke to all of our young people during the application process and they told us what they were hoping to get out of the experience:

'With this opportunity I would love to be able to enhance my practical skills and get out there and get as much experience as I can. I feel it could help me keep enthusiastic about expressing myself and help my life broaden out in a bigger way. The opportunity to be able to focus on working on representing the views that so many people have about race, religion and class is very important to me as well. I also feel that the media today needs to change how they choose to stereotype. If the BBC gets more people from different backgrounds then it could help make a better product and achieve a better outcome really.' - Correll, 20

'My interests have always been in the field of imagination. I've always been a creative person and I enjoy seeing ideas come to life. This is going to give me a very big opportunity because obviously the BBC are very prestigious, they're known worldwide, and to be able to say you work for the BBC or have the chance to work with the BBC is a reward in itself.' - Oneil, 22

'Working with the BBC would be a huge honour because the BBC is a very big company known worldwide and I'm quite proud to know that the BBC is in Bristol. What would I get from the scheme? Obviously I would get to work in the actual industry and get that experience that I'm craving having just graduated from university. I'd like to develop my camera skills more and see the professional production side of things. My ultimate goal within the media is to direct and produce my own films or TV programmes.' - Romayne, 24

'I want to work in the film and media industry but getting your foot in the door is one of the hardest things to do. If I get this opportunity it would mean the world to me.' - Narasser, 22 

What the BBC Thought....
'They came with energy and enthusiasm and left exhausted - a true experience of working at the BBC. Even though the team from Bread were split up into different groups they showed a strong ability to convey their ideas and listen to the input of others. The mentors that worked with them really enjoyed helping them plan, film and edit and found them all very engaging.' Michelle, BBC Bristol.

You can find out what our volunteers thought on our quotes page here. 

Next Steps....
After the initial three days, those that want to take it further have been offered on-going training in the form of workshops to develop key skills and sessions with a BBC mentor who can provide access to supporting information on career development. Young people will gain experience in many different areas such as script writing, presenting, editing, camera-work, radio production, CV and application writing and interview techniques.

At the end of this 12-week programme, those looking for work can compete for one of three paid work placements. These placements will be awarded to three successful candidates and will see each employee rotated between post-production, factual programming and news. Young people will be encouraged to network as much as possible and make us of the contacts they gain during the placement.'We hope it will provide a platform from which to launch themselves into a media career.' Sarah Wade, Project Manager BBC Bristol.

Our thanks go to all the staff at BBC Bristol who are supporting UNITY's volunteers over the next few months. We hope all our young people get as much as possible from the experience and look forward to watching their progress.

You can check out all the photos from the event here.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Post-Production workshop at BBC Bristol

On Wednesday 27th October we took a group of volunteers from UNITY and Awaz Utaoh to BBC Bristol on Whiteladies Road to continue post-production work on Bristol Asian Festival audio pieces.

Volunteers worked with BBC editor Jamie Talbutt and UNITY staff to create three pieces that celebrate the work of Awaz Utaoh. Awaz Utaoh is a small voluntary community organisation serving South Asian people in Bristol and the surrounding areas.

Young people also worked on pieces designed to give a flavour of the vibrant culture and artists that contributed to the Bristol Asian Festival (mela) organised by Awaz Utaoh back in September.

All the volunteers were excited to look round the BBC and work alongside media professionals. 'everyone who came along was brilliant; really keen, friendly and enthusiastic which made my job super easy!' Jamie Talbutt, BBC Bristol. 

You can listen to the audio pieces here and see photos from the day on our Flickr site here.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Cookie Exchange

UNITY volunteers had great fun this week making biscuits and cakes for an inter-generational cookie exchange at Trinity Community Arts Centre, Lawrence Hill. The day was held as part of the Celebrating Age Festival 2009 with community events engaging older people right across the city from 28th September to 3rd of October.

The volunteers baked a huge amount of cookies using exciting ingredients such as chocolate chips, smarties and fudge. Young people met all the staff at Trinity and had fun swapping recipes and biscuits. The volunteers will be contributing their recipes and pictures of the day to a special book produced by Trinity.

You can check out all the photos from the day on our Flickr site.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Bristol Asian Mela

This weekend we took a group of  volunteers along to the Bristol Asian Festival in Eastville Park to experience the festivities and to interview the young people who had helped to organise the event. The event was organised by community organisation Awaz Utaoh who provide a range of activities, events and support services for Bristol’s South Asian community.

It was a really special day with dancing from Bollywood Glamour, Bristol’s first Bollywood dance company, a fashion show on the main stage 
and performances from international artist Imran Khan. The main attraction was the talent show in the youth marquee where young people showcased there phenomenal talents from beatboxing to singing, dancing and even modelling.

Over in the heritage marquee elders from Bristol's Asian community and the Lord Mayor gathered for a special book launch lead by Simi Chowdry, director of Awaz Utaoh. ‘More than a Curry’ is a special book that details the contribution that the Asian community has made to Bristol. The launch was accompanied by a special screening of a documentary featuring interviews with community elders. In his speech the Lord Mayor praised the work Awaz Utaoh and their organisation of the event: ‘It is a great example of an event which binds relationships between families and communities and promotes peace and harmony in our city.’

UNITY Volunteers with the Mayor in the Heritage Marquee

Interviewing Talent Show Contestants

All of the photographs, audio and video from the day will be edited together by our volunteers in the next few weeks and will appear on our various sites.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

St Paul's Carnival Post Production Workshops

After interviewing members of the public, local young people, community leaders and even our local MP, the UNITY volunteers then attended a series of workshops (supported by BBC Blast) to edit together all of their recordings and photographs into two multimedia presentations to be shown at the Harbourside Festival.

Young people came into the Bread offices and worked with Matt Olden from I am the Mighty Junglator (a local band and experimental media collective) to produce the pieces. Volunteers learnt about different audio and video editing software and were able to have a real hands on experience, choosing which interviews to include and altering audio levels to improve sound quality.

The finished pieces were shown at the festival  on the 2nd of August 2009 and have been uploaded onto all UNITY's sites to promote the project.

You can watch both films on youtube or by clicking on the icons in our video bar on the left-hand side of this page.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

St Paul's Carnival Documentation Project

On Saturday 4th July 2009 UNITY took a group of volunteers to the St Paul's carnival to document this colourful celebration of diverse local culture. Young people photographed the parade and interviewed community leaders and members of the general public to gain an impression of what makes this such a special event.

Recording local musicians by the main stage

Meeting the Mayor 

Interviewing Stephen Williams MP

Meeting some of the performers 

In the afternoon the photographs taken by volunteers were displayed on the BBC big screen in Portland Square which was achieved with assistance from BBC Blast.

To see all of the photographs taken by young people on the day please go to our Flickr page: