Monday 10 March 2014, 10:39
I was born and grew up in Burnley and my parents still live there. Even though I now work and have my own place in Salford, I still call Burnley my home.
I’ve always been looking to volunteer the skills I’ve developed in my career and when I saw the opportunity to get involved in a BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility project in Burnley, I jumped at the chance to take part.
The project involved working with colleagues from across the BBC alongside a local housing association to create a road safety campaign for children. Burnley has one of the highest road accidents records in the UK for children aged 9-11. Tight winding roads, terraced housing and dark streets are a real danger for everyone, especially young people on the way to and from school.
The project was split into stages of creative development over three months. Workshops included research, story boarding, script writing, art work, animation, audio recording, lyric writing and music recording. Over 150 people took part in a variety of one day workshops delivered by our team of volunteers and supported by BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility.
I worked with 17 children from Hameldon Community College to create story boards based on a script developed in an earlier session on a visit to the BBC at MediaCityUK. I also facilitated another session that enabled over 20 students to edit their storyboard into a moving animatic with pre-recorded sound.
Overall this was a great opportunity for me to inspire learning and creativity in a community I know so well. Creating an open dialogue with young people enabled me to set an example of how creative media jobs are absolutely achievable in an area where aspirations aren’t high.
It was great to get close to my BBC Bitesize target audience and develop a deeper understanding of how children use the learning tool. I was particularly impressed with seeing their awareness and enthusiasm for BBC Bitesize in a real life classroom environment. It makes the last 18 months of my project work worthwhile knowing our content will make a difference. Of course my observations may be biased as a result of giving them all a BBC Bitesize memory stick that they literally thought was AMAZING.
This week, I attended the showcase of the final production held in a jammed auditorium at Burnley College. It was brilliant to see so many people and to hear such high praise for all our efforts. The resource will now be seen by thousands of school children and I’m proud to have played a part in making this happen and giving something back to my home town of Burnley.
*Through the Community Doorway programme from BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility, BBC staff get closer to audiences and share skills that really make a difference. Calico Creative in Burnley, Lancashire, is one organisation that benefitted from our support. Lancashire has the highest road safety accidents involving young people in the UK. By working with Calico and the whole community, BBC volunteers were able to create a resource it’s hoped will be a real hit in hundreds of local schools. Daniel was one of seven BBC volunteers who spent time working alongside children, students, parents and the elderly in Burnley to create a road safety animation for local primary schools.