YCSA: Raising Aspirations through an inspirational film club
Youth Community Support Agency works with young people from ethnic minority backgrounds and supports them to become active members of a diverse society. The Film Club supports young people to improve their literacy and communication skills, develop confidence and raise their aspirations through watching, discussing and making films.
What was life like for this young person when they first got involved?
'Winnie' is a young Angolan woman recently moved to the UK. When she first arrived at YCSA she was isolated, lacking in confidence and stressed about her future. She wasn’t in education, training or employment and felt frustrated that she didn’t know how to access opportunities in the city. She had low confidence when speaking English, felt that she wasn’t doing anything productive with her time and didn’t know what she wanted to do in the future.
What did youth workers do to help?
At the YCSA Film Club, youth workers encouraged her to express her opinion clearly in front of others, think critically when watching films and take on roles of responsibility within the group. They treated her with respect, listened to her without judgement and helped her understand herself and where she wanted to go in the future. They encouraged her to explore new cultures, consider different points of view and reflect on her own life using films as a jump off point. This allowed her to make friends, improve her communication skills and develop the critical thinking skills needed to make decisions about her future.
What difference has YCSA made to them?
Thanks to the support she received at YCSA her aspirations were raised and she developed the communication skills and self-belief needed to apply for college where she is now studying Social Care. She joined the YCSA Youth Panel and now volunteers by giving feedback on project ideas, promoting YCSA and representing the organisation at events. One of her biggest achievements was applying for Youth Bank funding as part of the Film Club team before presenting the project idea by herself as a finalist of the Big Grant Give Away event. She writes:
“I am proud of myself and of everyone who is part of a community who provide support, help and empathetic behaviour around others. This little gesture can change the lives of many for good.
I feel safe, I feel heard. I feel helped and good in YCSA."