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Angela's story from the heart of the Wehm

Angela's three children
Angela's three much-loved children
Watch a fascinating video revealing the life and dreams of a Wood End resident, created by Henley College student Dean Reilly.

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Angela - aural history video by Dean Reilly
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On The Streets - vox pop video by Dean Reilly

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Henley College student Dean Reilly has produced a remarkable video about the life of a Wood End resident.

The film - called Angela - is an intimate look at a young mother's story.

Angela has lived in the Wehm communities (Wood End, Henley Green and Manor Farm) her whole life and has had three children there.

 
Angela's history
 
 Angela with a black history book
Angela with a black history book
Angela admits she took a long time to learn to stand up for herself and says she: "used to go to school with a certain attitude and have issues."

On the video she describes how stories of slaves and her African roots used to make her agressive and resentful. She said: "I used to watch about how people used to go to Africa and capture them and take them away from their people and chain them up and put them all in a boat and take them back to their countries and sell them...They used to have them in the fields, they changed their names and took their rights away from them.

"Then I used to go to school and get aggressive at school. I used to get so upset, it was horrible."

 
The children
 
 Angela's baby girl
Angela's toddler
Talking about her first pregnancy, Angela said: "It was mixed feelings really, happy, sad, anxious. But I had the support there from my mum because I was living at home with my mum and my sister and they were very supportive of me.

"Because I was young and I didn't really fulfil my live really and go out there and achieve what I wanted, it was a bit hard to accept at the time.

 Angela's daughter
Angela's nine year-old daughter
"As I got more into my pregnancy I...got excited...I started to accept it then and when I did finally have Charelle I was so happy because she was a girl.

"In a way it's nice really because we've grown up together, I still feel young anyway."

Charelle was Angela's first child and is now 16. Angela most recently gave birth to Shenika, who is two.

She also has a third child, called Nikita, who is nine and lives with her dad in Birmingham. Her mum is very proud: "She's doing very well at school...she's a little madam when she's here, she's into everything and...don't like to leave my side when she's here."

 
Voluntary work
 
 Angela with young DJs
Angela's DJ course at the Henley Green Centre
Angela volunteers at the Henley Green Centre one day a week, teaching DJ skills.

She said: "I'm just there to support them really. A lot of people stereotype young people and they're seen as trouble makers, with anti-social behaviour, but I like to reverse things and change them into something more positive..."

 
The area
 
 View of Wood End
View of Wood End
On the video, Angela says: "It's not the same like it used to be because people are always stereotyping the area...some of the places where they are knocking down it's not too bad as long as they're going to put something back into the area to make it better really, to make people respect it more and not put negative thoughts across, as long as it's positive."

"I like living here, it's part of my growing up and I know I a lot of people, which is nice. It's my history really, it's a nice community, I've not had no problems. I like where I am, I'm proud of my area."

 
The video
 
 Angela
Angela, a few years ago
Dean made the five-minute video by editing audio from a number of interviews and overlaying this on a series of beautifully presented photographs.

Together the reflective voice of Angela and her private photographs create a charming insight into a personal life.

Click the link on the top left to see the video.

 
Dean Reilly
 
 Henley College Media students
Dean Reilly, on the left, with fellow student Fred McCann
Dean Reilly is studying for a HND in Media Production at Henley College in Coventry.

Angela's Story was created as part of his coursework, along with another piece, called 'On the streets', also linked on the top left.

To find out more about students' work at Henley College, follow the links on the left.


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