We are the Bristol Youth Mayors- Eve Szczelkun and Jack Payne- representatives of the Bristol City Youth Council. The Youth Council is made up of 28 elected Young Members voted into office by young people and 5 co-optees who represent certain groups. The Youth Council serve for 2 years; the elections were held in February and once elected to the Youth Council, we held an internal election to vote in the two Youth Mayors who have the position for a year.
Earlier in July we attended an awards ceremony for the Sharp Shotz film campaign at the Watershed. We watched the films, then sat on panel discussions about the films and saw the prizes being handed out.
Sharp Shotz is a project run by the community action group Ideal. It works with young people within schools and youth organisations in disadvantaged areas. The competition was based around creating a campaign and making a short film to accompany it. This year the two finalist entries were from two different year 8 groups from Fairfield School. Their aim was to seek awareness and seek new approaches to their chosen issues.
We sat on the panels to explain how we could help the students with their campaigns and spread awareness of them. The first film was made by two girls who created the ‘Think Before You Post’ campaign. Their campaign is highlighting to young people the dangers of sharing explicit photos online and the bullying and implications that can result. Their campaign aims for more recognition of this subject and they want an increase in dedicated lessons on this sensitive issue in schools across Bristol. Their film included clips from a police officer talking about the implications of setting as well as facts and an animation (made with help from UWE film and animation students). Both of us were very impressed by the approach to this sensitive subject and the high quality of the film.
The other campaign is about raising awareness of the high levels of bullying faced by people with autism. Their aim is to educate other young people and the wider community to see the person beyond the label, with the name of their campaign being ‘Think Beyond Autism’. The film includes an interview with a student who has autism as well as showing situations where a person with autism maybe treated badly or misunderstood as well as showing that there is a person beyond the autism. Again, the film was very impressive and was made with a lot of skill and we both agree that it achieves its aim of showing what it’s like to have autism.
The two groups were both awarded prizes for their hard work yet, the work for these groups doesn’t stop there as they want to spread awareness to make their campaigns a success.
Below are the links to the films, they are only 3 minutes long so take a watch and share to spread the message.
Think Before You Post:
Think Beyond Autism: