Bridging the Gaps
Bridging the Gaps was an innovative youth-led media project that tackled the anticipated changes to housing and welfare benefit cuts that began in April 2011.
With funding from the Big Lottery Fund, the project gave nine local young people the opportunity to learn practical film-making skills (including story-boarding, research, pre and post production and filming skills) whilst improving their own awareness of money, debt and welfare topics.
Initial training, led by professional film-makers and youth workers, took place at BASE – the Octavia Foundation’s creative and cultural club for young people in Pimlico.
The film includes scripted interviews with local tenants that debate questions around some of the biggest proposed changes. Stuart Freeman, a housing, debt, money management and welfare benefits consultant, guided the young film-makers initial research and residents of Octavia Housing, as well as the young film-makers appear in the film themselves.
The project concluded in September 2011 with the distribution of an informative documentary film that addressed a growing confusion and anxiety that had emerged at the time around proposed changes to housing and welfare benefits. An information booklet was also produced to provide additional information about some of the key proposed changes and further support and information services.
Bridging the Gaps addressed two key needs in one key project: Firstly, the lack of hands-on, professional experience for young people in film-making, and secondly a gap in up-to-date, accessible information for the local community on the changes to the benefits system.
Reena Mukherji, Director, The Octavia Foundation