Thanks to support from Awards For All, we have had the privilege of working with various groups in the Sedgemoor area, exploring how digital skills can help communities in transition. The project is now at an end and here are just a few examples of the work that has been created.
Older People in our Community
We were keen to explore themes and issues that were of interest to older members of the community, in particular, the transition into retirement. Through our conversations we discovered that the ability to maintain friendships and develop new ones and to continue to learn and discover new interests were important aspects in maintaining a healthy and engaging retirement. We also talked about digital access and the importance of having a voice - though they did not feel that they were alone in this, they offered up a list of ideas that could be taken forward. We worked closely with two groups - photography and creative writing - and passed on digital skills to the members of each group. The photography group working with tutor / mentor Richard Tomlinson created an amazing exhibition of positive images of older people, all members of the U3A of HIghbridge ,which is currently on display at The Princess Theatre - Burnham, The Engine Room - Bridgwater and Highbridge Railway Station. Some of the images are also intended for use in posters to encourage more men to join the group, as they are often more isolated than women. Here are more of their superb images here.
The writing group, again with support from Richard Tomlinson, have written a radio play, which will receive its first public broadcast on Tuesday 22nd October on 10radio, followed by Glastonbury FM on Thursday 24th. Together they have written a light-hearted piece about an amateur dramatics need for more male members! You can listen to it here:
Following the recession businesses have experienced an enormous time of transition, particularly small, local businesses. We invited a number of Sedgemoor based businesses to a free session on digital tools for business with Kevin Redpath, an early adopter and advocater of e-commerce. You can watch some of the masterclass here:
We then followed up with a series of workshops giving them the skills to implement them in their own businesses. From social networking as a marketing tool to the creation of free websites, the workshops resulted in the launch of one new business 'Zulucow'. To demonstrate the power of video we also created an advert for one of the attending businesses, whose name was drawn out of the hat for use online and on Somerset.TV. Take a look:
People Seeking Employment
In the recent financial climate a great many people suddenly faced uncertainty in their employment and subsequently were made redundant. We wanted to explore the issues faced by those who were seeking employment. We supported local residents attending a Job Club, which had been established by Homes in Sedgemoor at Morland Hall in Highbridge though provision of workshops to develop digital skills.
We also created a short film to promote the jobclub as those who were attending had found it invaluable and thought more should access it.
Interestingly, both those seeking unemployment and older members of the community shared the same concerns about access to computers. We fed back their concerns to the Somerset County Library service who have acted on this and wider feedback that they had received, and in October 2013 increased the provision of free access to computers across the county.
If you would be interested in a similar project in your area then contact Deb Richardson at The Engine Room on 01278 433187 or via email
Talking Communities is funded by Awards for All through the Big Lottery.
Talking Communities – project from Somerset Film
the trading name of Somerset Film & Video Limited
Registered Charity No.1095587