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You could go FAR!

This DVD marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the charity Fenham Association of Residents.

  	By building trust with a degree of skill, honesty and care, Digital Voice were able to dispel any fears our volunteers had about being filmed

Who Took Part

More than 70 people from the Fenham area, all members of the Residents Association or local people who take part in the regular activities at the Centre.


To celebrate the changes made in the area over nearly forty years thanks to the dedication of many local residents and volunteers. The specific reason was that the 20th anniversary had been reached since the founding of their Association in 1988. The DVD was a thank you to all those who worked so hard and also a valuable source of motivation and information for other voluntary organisations.

Project Outline

Several members of the FAR committee handled liaison throughout the project, with support provided by the Centre worker Mark Gowland.

What Happened

  • A “getting-to-know-you” session was held over tea and cakes with five members of the committee who provided background information and suggestions for the DVD content. Mark provided examples of the photos in the Centre archive.
  • A storyboard was drawn up to show how the information might be included in the DVD
  • The shoot was scheduled to record a wide range of activities in the Centre plus background interviews with five people who’d be involved at different stages across the four decades
  • As there were periods of the story when there was not a great deal of illustration, it was suggested that line drawn animation might be a good way to tell those stages visually. A grant was secured and award-winning animator recruited to handle that aspect of production. She worked with members of the Association to develop the pictures.
  • The documentary was edited with the opportunity to see roughcuts to be viewed along the way, for checks and comments on the structure and content.

Sharing The Results With Others

The documentary was screened at a major community event at Newcastle's Assembly Rooms in April 2009.

Benefits for Participants

Helps confirm to all members of community who much they deserve to be proud of their achievements. The DVDs have been provided to other community and tenants groups to show what a difference can be made and how to go about it. Their inspirational example was shared across the UK with a Community Channel broadcast in 2010.

Clients and/or Funding

FAR Centre & Age Concern.

Who Else Would Benefit From This Sort of Project

Many community achievements deserve to be captured on video, both to celebrate the achievements of those who took part and also to help inform others how they can work towards achieving their own goals.

It’s helpful to begin filming this sort of documentary fairly early on and allow a long time scale – if you only think about it late on, you will have missed many of the pictures.

Videomakers will be happy to help advise how you can capture key stages yourselves, perhaps on stills or on video, so that you are not dependent on having to hire in others all the time. You may enjoy acquiring your own camera and sound equipment and asking some of your members to take part in workshops to gain basic skills.

How To Find Out More

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