A multimedia project by students from Darlington examining and promoting the benefits of walking to school. Included taking part in Barcelona Walk 21 and sharing their experiences in subsequent presentations and workshops.
Eight young people aged 13 - 16 travelled to Barcelona by train to participate in media workshops. They were supported to make their own presentation at the prestigious annual Walk21 conference.
The visit was to gather international evidence about the benefits of walking to and from school, and share it with schools in the UK. The Step Up Campaign is a new initiative from Living Streets, a well-established national charity which has been working with young people for more than a decade.
The group used a multimedia approach, and took part in animation, video journalism and blogging workshops over several weeks in England. They also learned how to create comic strips in Barcelona, and shot two videos there over two days in October 08.
The groups presented their work to delegates at the Barcelona Walk 21 conference and sparked interesting debate.
All their work and blogs were streamed on the Living Streets website . The media outputs created as part of the project have proved to be useful tools in promoting the Step Up campaign, beyond the end of the project, both on the Step Up website and at professional conferences.
Since returning from the conference, the pupils have spoken at an event for European local authorities, and a seminar for school travel advisors from all over the UK .They have shared their experience of the project, and their views about making streets safe, friendly and attractive for young people on foot. The pupils have also helped to deliver a training workshop on making comic strips, for members of the Modeshift organisation.
As a result of the success of this project, Living Streets will continue to have youth representation at conferences and events. This will increase the influence of young people within the sustainable travel community.
Overall the young people have gained in confidence and broadened the range of communication skills at their disposal.
The young people were able to gain valuable training and experience of using video cameras to conduct interviews at the Step Up launch event in Newcastle, before their presentation at Walk 21.
They also gained hands-on experience of a range of media tools which they are now using in their campaign to increase the number of young people walking to school.
Living Streets were the commissioners, funded by Big Lottery and Northern Film and Media.
Video journalism and blogging are effective tools to gain a voice about issues that matter to your community.