2021 Project with Red Balloon Learners Centres
Supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation
September – December 2021
The Red Balloon Learners Centre is an alternative provision for young people 11-16 that have self-excluded themselves from mainstream school sue to severe depression or social anxiety.
The Film-Making Project took place from over three months in 2021 with fifteen young people aged between 12 and 17, from across both the Red Balloon Cambridge Centres.
The young people worked with artist Desree and film-maker Peter, to create a ‘mockumentary’ about Red Balloon, sending up the quirky nature of the students, the teachers, the building, and even the school dogs.
While workshopping ideas students learned technical camera skills, tried out technical equipment and all appeared on camera in the workshop sessions. As the piece developed, the students chose different roles for themselves. Some chose to do the actual filming, while others developed characters and storylines to be featured in the film. Participants gained confidence, technical and soft skills and an enormous sense of achievement from the project. They are now working on the next one.
From 2022 – 2024 the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The Evelyn Trust is supporting this work with Red Balloon Learners CentresView Red Balloon here
Asked ‘what surprised you about taking part?’ one participant said:
“Team working. I finally worked well with people!”
Many participants said that the experience had boosted their confidence:
“Throughout the entire thing it boosted my confidence”
Treating young people as artists was empowering and gave them agency they said they valued:
“Turning funny ideas into actual scenes” “
“Being confident enough to share my ideas”
“I feel good watching it. I am the main character, to be honest we were all the main character.”