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Watford Community Housing Trust’s Youth Opportunities film project gives youngsters a boost
A film made by young people about different generations growing up in Watford had its "premiere" at the Pump House last week.
Parallel Lives was made for Watford Community Housing Trust’s Youth Opportunities programme, "Yo".
In the film, young people talk about their own experiences and interview older people living in the trust’s sheltered housing schemes about their childhoods.
They hear what it was like to live through rationing, at a time when most families did not have their own fridge, let alone a television.
Whilst their experiences of childhood are very different, the film shows that the two generations have more in common than they first thought and both sides came away with a better understanding of each other.
Robert Lock, a graduate trainee at the Trust, organised the project in an attempt to break down barriers between young and old and also to equip young people living in the Trust’s neighbourhoods with career skills.
The 11 participants, who were aged 11 to 19, were trained to make the film from start to finish by Mouth That Roars, a company that specialises in youth film production.
Some of the young people will receive a nationally recognised ‘ASDAN’ qualification for volunteering, while three of them have gone on to take part in the National Citizenship Service through Youth Connexions.
Elodie Mayo, who was involved in the film, said: "Making the film made me feel really independent, it was good to be asked my opinion of things. It will be useful for my future career because I want to work in film production when I’m older.
"While making the film I learned that older people really are the same as us, they hungered for independence and freedom just like we do. And I think they found out that young people are not all bad."
Tina Barnard, chief executive of the trust, added: "This was another successful project made possible by our Better Communities Fund, and it is making a positive impact on so many levels.
"It’s been great for the young people involved, it will help to break down barriers between the generations, and it will help us to improve our services. And the film itself is fantastic - the young people deserve congratulations for doing so well."
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