Thursday, 28 January 2010

Why I Respect...

The Project
Why I Respect has been developed in response to an idea put forward by the UNITY steering group of peer educators. The project aims to encourage young people to explore the diversity of their own communities and promote cultural understanding and respect for others.

Our aim is to run workshops with different groups around Bristol from schools to youth groups, actively encouraging young people to get out into their communities and engage with different groups.

The Pilot: Fairfield School
Our pilot project is taking place at Fairfield school where a team of peer educators from UNITY will work with Year 9 students. Students will work with the peer educators to investigate ideas of cultural identity in their local area (EC1) and create a 5-minute video celebrating cultural diversity.

The finished film will be shown at the schools Bristol: DiveEC1ty event in March and will be used as an educational resource for workshops and assemblies given by the Year 9 students at Fairfield's feeder primary schools.

Session 1
This first session was all about getting to know the young people and allowing our peer educators Claire and Oneil to get a feel for the project and their involvement. We played lots of icebreaker games to get the young people to feel relaxed and help us find out more about them. One of the best activities was the Heritage Flag. We asked each group to draw a flag and draw or write in each corner:
  • Something you like doing
  • Something that represents who you are
  • Something that represents where you live
  • Something that is important to your family

We had some great discussion around these points and it led the group to find out more about the people they see at school everyday.

The 'First Impressions' Activity was the most popular though. We asked the young people to answer a series of questions about the peer educators and UNITY staff based only on their first impressions of us. The questions ranged from how old we were to what music we liked and how rich we were! On some aspects they seemed to have us pretty well sussed out but other things were way off and it served as a great tool to show them how wrong their first impressions and assumptions about people can sometimes be.

What our Peer Educators thought:
'I felt it went very well. The main thing is that the kids enjoy themselves. They learnt that you can't judge a book by its cover.' Oneil, 22

'I was impressed with the kids behaviour and how thy responded to us. They were coming up with lots of ideas.' Claire, 24

What the students thought:


Overall it was a fantastic first session, filled with energy, ideas and enthusiasm and we can't wait to go back next week!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Winter Wonderland

Happy New Year everyone!
Well 2010 is here and although we’ve had a rather slow start to the year with all this snow the end of December was busy for us with lots of celebratory events of the years work.

Face 2 Face
A special screening was held at the Watershed cinema to celebrate the work all our young people did with the BBC as part of their Face 2 Face scheme. All the films they made during the initial 3-day training workshop were screened at the cinema and each received a special certificate from the BBC acknowledging their work. We look forward to watching these bright stars make their mark during 2010 as they undergo more training and have the chance to compete for a job with the BBC at the end of the scheme. Good luck guys!

Filming ‘A Drunken Mistake’ in Lawrence Western
All last term UNITY staff and peer educators travelled out to Lawrence Western to support young people at one of Bread’s other youth projects Juicy Blitz. The aim was to film a script the young people had written about underage drinking, a big problem in the local area. We supported planning sessions led by an amazing team from BBC Bristol and braved the cold before Christmas to start filming. During January and February we hope (weather permitting) to finish shooting so watch this space for more information on the project and a chance to see the finished piece.

Coming up in 2010…
We have a whole host of opportunities for volunteering with Bread and UNITY this year. We have 3 new members of staff (Becky, Janene and Natalie) who form the new V team, dedicated to getting young people the skills and experience they need. V is for volunteering and by signing up with the team you can access any volunteering opportunities within our 4 projects (including UNITY) as well as developing your own ideas. You can achieve awards and recognition for the hours you do so it's great experience for those looking to build up their CVs.

The V team are a great bunch and you can find their contact details on the Bread website here and find out more about V here.

We have lots of exciting film and peer education projects coming up this term so sign up to get more information.