Cooke’s Crew Film Club thanks to £10,000 grant from Cumbria Housing Partners

21st February 2018

Signal Film and Media are delighted to announce the long-awaited return of Cooke’s Crew next month, the film club for 12-16yr olds, thanks to funding from Cumbria Housing Partners and Barrow Borough Council.

The last Cooke’s Crew project ended in March 2017 and was originally scheduled for return last September, but had to be postponed due to funding limitations, now the cameras are ready to roll again.

The 20-week project will begin recruitment in March for a start in April 2018 and will target young Barrovians who don’t usually take up out-of-school learning opportunities using the language of film. Cooke’s Crew uses exciting varieties of creative digital media activities specially designed to offer an alternative pathway towards employment, further education and social development.

Independent Think-Tank, DotEveryone, identified people in Barrow as being ‘highly likely to experience digital exclusion’. Although young people inherently learn digital skills through using social media, computer games and access at school, in areas of social deprivation this does not translate to acquiring essential skills and knowledge about how to use technology productively – to improve life chances and to access job opportunities.

Kerry Kolbe, Co-Director at Signal Film and Media, said: “By encouraging the exploration of creative digital media through storytelling, young people will learn how technology, used positively, can be a platform for expression of opinion, sharing of experiences and communication to peers and the wider world.”

At the end of the course Cooke’s Crew participants will present a community screening of their work and will have worked towards an Arts Award qualification; a nationally accredited certificate that provides a recognisable marker of achievement.

The Cumbria Housing Partners Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, provides grants of up to £10,000 to community and voluntary organisations running projects aimed at improving people’s employability or education. Over the last 10 years Cumbria Housing Partners’ has been successful in supporting apprenticeships and community projects in neighbourhoods across Cumbria.

John Clasper, Cumbria Housing Partners Chair said: “We are delighted to fund this exciting project which will support over 100 young people in Barrow to access media and arts learning leading to qualifications. The skills they learn will boost their confidence and support them as they move towards independent life and employment. We very much look forward to seeing the finished project at the screening and meeting the participants.”

Andy Beeforth, CEO of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The Cumbria Housing Partners Fund aims to bring real, positive change and bring local communities in Cumbria closer together. We are passionate about matching fundholders with the most deserving projects in Cumbria. This fund is particularly important because it will directly improve skills of some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.”