Girls out loud


A group of young people have snapped up ASDAN certification after completing a photography project with the help of Media Trust.

The course brought together an all-female group of students who had been identified as those at risk of becoming involved with gangs.

Photovoice, a charity passionate about social change, helped them to develop their photography skills and produce digital stories about issues relating to them and other young people in their community. Roger Tooth, the head of photography at The Guardian, also supported the group through Media Trust’s mentoring scheme.

It wasn’t just about learning, it was about sharing experiences

Throughout the 30-hour course, the students produced portfolios of their work, recording their ideas, images and storyboards for their digital stories. They worked together to produce their content and discussed ideas as a group, as well as taking cameras home to capture further images independently.

Staff noted that students all gained in confidence throughout the course, becoming more able to express their ideas and work as a team.

The project culminated in a session where the group reflected on the skills they had learnt and how they would take these forward in their lives.

One young participant said: “It wasn’t just about learning, it was about sharing experiences, and I’ve learnt to listen to other people’s views and comment in a positive way.

“People were shy at first but they came out of themselves by the end of the project. I feel more confident to talk about my experiences now, because before I was scared people would judge me. When you go through experiences like myself and other girls on the project have, you can sometimes feel alone, but here I felt that we were all in it together.

“The project has also helped me realise that to get somewhere in life you have to be competitive; you can’t give up after you’ve reached the smallest goal, you have to keep going.”

The digital stories will be used as a resource across schools to educate other young people about the risks of getting involved in gangs.

The project was funded by the Department for Education and delivered in partnership with Waltham Forest Council. Students achieved ASDAN customised accreditation, worth three credits towards CoPE.