Young people's film premieres in Colne

The voices and experiences of young people in Colne throughout the Covid pandemic formed the basis of a new film which has been launched in the town.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:34 pm
Young people at the screening of the film in Colne
Young people at the screening of the film in Colne

Our Voice Our Time was commissioned by Pendle Youth Forum - a partnership of organisations that come together with the interest of young people and young peoples services - and created by Pendle arts organisation In-Situ.

The film "premiered" at King George’s Playing Field, complete with a stadium feel football game with commentary with Burnley FC in the Community.

The Mayor of Pendle, Coun. Neil Butterworth, gave his inaugural speech where he encouraged young people with his own story. The powerful film was screened, followed by a discussion involving the views of local school children and young people. Pizzas were provided from locally based van, All Fired Up.

The film presents the voices and experiences of young people, who the team worked with on the streets in Colne at night during the pandemic,and was developed in response to reports of anti-social behaviour in Colne before and during the pandemic.

It is part of a commitment by Pendle Youth Forum and In-Situ to work creatively in partnership to tackle the lack in provision left by austerity cuts and the impact this has on local communities.

Paul Hartley, from In-Situ, said: "What we’re seeing now is a backlash in which aggressive voices are speaking out on social media and using negative words like ‘feral’ - it’s very anti young people. The problem we are so familiar with is that there is nothing to do and nowhere to go - genuinely.

"We asked ourselves, 'What can we do to help? How can we capture all of this?' What we would like to offer is an alternative approach that asks what is possible, and to find out what interests the young people and then work around that. It’s a big problem and requires a lot of sustained collaboration."

The film ends with a shared ownership of the challenges and a commitment to working together to improve the situation through increasing resource for spaces, creative opportunities and professional skills and experience to generate better care and provision within the town.

Claire Bennett, Pendle Youth Forum said: "This film takes the opportunity for young people to elevate their voices and be heard, sharing their experiences of living in Colne and their perspectives on why there are problems with anti-social behaviour.

"The young people were willing to talk openly and discuss these matters with various partners of the youth forum, creating positive relationships which resulted in the film which we hope is the catalyst for change as well as continuing these conversations in other areas of Pendle."

Bringing together young people, artists, police, councillors, representatives from local youth organisations including Colne Youth Action Group (CYAG), youth workers from Lancashire County Council, youth workers from Positive Action in the Community, and Burnley FC in the Community, the film culminates in a round table discussion around the issues faced by young people and residents.