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Soda Beat - 14th October 2013

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Club Soda receives funding from the Media Trust

Club Soda receives funding from the Media Trust

Community Voices is an England-wide program funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (formerly DIUS) and delivered by Media Trust .

It aims to engage, inspire and empower communities who feel disadvantaged or isolated with the confidence, skills, and access to resources and funding that will enable them to find their voice and make it heard, using digital media.

Communities around England have been making a positive difference to their lives by using creative digital media under the Community Voices project. We selected 25 community projects to receive funding of either £1,500, £7,000, £14,000 or £61,000, as well as support from digital mentors. We also made awards to communities demonstrating the inspiring use of digital media in disadvantaged communities under our Inspiring Voices scheme. Take look at these communities and their projects. Browse our interactive map below, and watch a new documentary called Community Voices featuring seven of these communities.

Club Soda is run by a group of people with learning disabilities who get together in order to face the challenges of exclusion and isolation. The Community Voices project

. The aim of the project was to bring together people with learning disabilities and challenge perceptions of what having a learning disability means. The community wanted to set up a media team and with training in film production and communication skills produce a film about a Croydon music festival at which they had their own ‘Pop Tent’ featuring musicians and DJs with learning disabilities. They also planned to promote social events for people for learning disabilities through film and online.

 What the community did
 The newly formed media team received 24 weeks training from media specialists. They practiced their new skills by filming interviews with each other on the impact of belonging to the community. With their mentors, they planned how to shoot the Croydon Summer Festival, getting footage of the event’s preparations and planning how to cover the Festival itself – what to shoot, where to position cameras, what interviews to get. They organized and filmed the day’s activities with music, DJ sets and a headline event.

The completed film was screened in the cinema at Croydon Clocktower to the local community, Club Soda members, local council members, and the Mayor, and was also made available on youtube.

The project changed the community in a number of ways.

Participants learnt valuable new skills and gained knowledge that will help them to access mainstream opportunities. One member has already had paid employment as a result of the project.

The process built up their confidence and made them proud of speaking out about themselves and their achievements.

They had to work as a large team in order to succeed in making their film and they experienced the value of teamwork

They put their skills into practice at their first public event – the Croydon Summer Festival – enabling the day to be recorded, remembered and shared among the wider community.

Next steps – to train up others and pass on their newly acquired skills. (

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