Raising awareness of bullying and racism and dealing with those all important issues.
Nearly 30 children from Byker School, Newcastle, including children of refugees and asylum seekers.
This media project was part of a wider 18 month initiative by Save the Children working with young people in a low income area which had undergone rapid change due to the dispersal policy for refugees and asylum seekers.
The charity worked with a class of about 26 8-year-olds in Byker – a mix of the indigenous community and newer arrivals – to raise awareness of bullying and racism and help them have the skills to deal with these when they arose. Through the young people, they intended to spread this awareness to the wider families and community.
They brought in Digital Voice for the last few months to develop a media project to express what the young people had learnt in the earlier part of the initiative.
Digital Voice suggested that animation would be a creative way to allow the young people to express their views, and have the benefit of learning about how to produce animation along the way.
We also recommended that this production would be more powerful in communicating with the intended audience if we also shot a video alongside the animation, so that the young people would be seen on camera explaining their views and how the animation was made.
To increase the effectiveness of the planned cinema screening, we recommended a “community ads” project which would give the young people the chance to shoot content on digital stills cameras and raise the profile of the project in local shops and organisations.
The 12 minute DVD was well-received by the young people and Save the Children. It was launched at The Gate cinema in Newcastle in Refugee Week at an event attended by pupils, teachers, members of families and the local community. DVDs were supplied to the young people to take home. More than 150 people attended the special screening. They saw a powerful film about the causes of bullying and what we can do about it, as well as community ads photographed and presented by the Byker School pupils.
The Evening Chronicle in Newcastle carried a full page of coverage in its young people’s section, the Kron, using words and pictures provided by the young people.
It has been regarded as an effective way to deliver these messages to young people and has gone on to have wider use than originally planned.
Coverage in local paper (Evening Chronicle) and excerpt streamed on National Refugee Week website. The Bully Book is now available as a national Save the Children resource pack for schools to address these issues.
The children worked effectively in teams, developed media skills and the media work consolidating the citizenship learning on racism and bullying.
The project was the culmination of 18 months of work by the Positive Press project, funded by Save the Children and Comic Relief.
This multimedia project approach is especially effective to address issues for children and young people, and is also a useful and enjoyable experience for adults.