"We would say to anyone that is offered an opportunity to take part in a film project like this, 'take it', because it could be as amazing and magical as what we have experienced." Katie Jones & Abbie Land, members of Swanley Young People's Filmmaking Group
Neighbourhood work has repeatedly shown that adults are concerned about community activities for young people and young people are interested in film and media. In Swanley we harnessed this to develop and help deliver Swanley Young People's Film Project.
Real Strategies worked with West Kent Extra (WKE) on this project. Young people who had volunteered as researchers during a neighbourhood project asked to make a film about their town. Real Strategies took the lead in securing funds from several sources, including Heritage Lottery Young Roots. The Hidden Histories Film, made with Fugitive Images, expands officially recorded history. It highlights the positive contributions that local people, including Gypsy/Travellers and white working class people, made to Swanley. It challenges existing stereotypes to show Swanley in a new light.
The film has been premiered locally, broadcast on TV via the Community Channel and is touring schools in the South East. The young people have won local and county Try - Angle Awards for their involvement and have recently been short listed for a Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Award.