Representing at UCL

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Adele and Natalie presenting at the Challenging Stigma conference for the Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology at University College London.   Over 100 practicing and training Psychologists hearing young parents perspectives on stigma first hand.

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NSPCC Conference Nov 2012

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[Pic : Debra Radford NSPCC Service Manager, Lauren, Adele, Helen Westerman NSPCC Campaigns Coordinator, Chris Cuthbert NSPCC Head of Strategy & Development for Under Ones & Professor Pasco Fearon UCL.]

So today we went and took part in a workshop at the NSPCC Conference. We weren’t as scared as we have been but we were still pretty nervous – You’d have thought we would have got the hang of it now, we’ve done it that many times!! But never mind.. WE SMASHED IT AGAIN!! After our talk/film showing there was question and answer time in which we only got asked 1 question (glad about it!) which was easy to understand and easy to answer!! There were 2 important fellas from the NSPCC at the front with us and they were answering alot of questions! Afterwards when people were leaving, we were packing up and getting ready to go when a few people came up to us congratulating us with our workshop and a few people mentioned that they had seen us at the No Wrong Doors Conference. Two girls from the audience then come over and asked us a few more questions which me and Lauren were more than happy to answer! Then Chris and Pasco (the important fellas) come over and had a chat with us. Just a shame Kerri wasn’t there but we smashed it Lauren 🙂   by Adele

Final Shoot with Spinning Top Films

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The final day was upon us! There was no time to rest on the progress of the previous two days, it was straight into the action with another home shoot! Then it was back to the Phoenix centre at York St John Uni for the final set-up. We borrowed a theatre studio to create the right environment for the final interviews. Reflecting on the project and the themes of the film the shoot was full of emotion with the intent to present some compelling arguments and opinions on the group members’ experiences as young parents. With the final moments of the campaign in the can the crew could finally relax! Good job all round!

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What this project means to me!!!!

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Hya im lauren, im 20 years old, i have a 3 year old daughter Tia-Mai who has just started nursery, this project means a lot to me because it helping me get my point across to what some people think of young mums. For example someone judging you on the bus for walking on with your child and them tutting and saying to the person next to them “young mums these days”.

 

Film Shoot 2 with Spinning Top Films

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The group were now into their stride and with another packed shoot schedule ahead they set about capturing the set-ups they needed. First was ‘at home with mum’ then meeting with friends and peers at the park and then finally up to the Social Policy Unit at York University to meet with and interview Aniela Wenham. It was another productive day and a good leader into tomorrow’s final shoot.

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Film Shoot 1 with Spinning Top Films

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Day one of the shoot! The project welcomed Colin and Ryan from Spinning Top Films into the project. The first days shoot was scheduled to begin with some shots at home showing some really positive shots of the relationship between mum and child. Then it was over to Future Prospects to grill Colette Gray and Sue Shooter on the services provided for young parents and why they were important. Colin and Ryan were shooting on two Canon 5D DSLR Cameras with a full lighting set up! The group got into their roles as interviewers and competed a good day’s shoot!

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Intro to Spinning Top Films

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Ahead of the three day shoot scheduled for next week, Colin Nuttall from Spinning Top Films met with the group to discuss the process and what the group would like to achieve. He began by showing some examples of his work and then had a discussion around the themes, styles and content of the shoot. Its shaping up to be a really great film idea!

 

Campaign Design with Own Beat Creatives

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The group came together to review the results of the photoshoots; to see which scenarios had worked well and which may need to be re-thought. The portraits were outstanding and after grouping them by theme the group began to select their favourite shots for each theme. Once the most effective shots had been selected, the group used marker pens to try out different slogans and tag lines by projecting the images onto a white board and drawing over the top. Final ideas and notes were collected and a brief prepared for the designer. Now its over to Digital Marketing Agency, Own Beat Creatives, to prepare drafts of the poster series for the group to approve next week.

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Photoshoot 2 with Jim Poyner

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To pick up the rest of the shots we need for the 9 proposed scenarios the group met again, this time at the Inspired Youth Offices at the Phoenix Centre. Jim Poyner set-up his mobile studio and the group got to work… with a little help from some cheese straws! Then it was over to Nat to process the BLOG photos using Photoshop and Bridge software.

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My thoughts so far….

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My name is Natalie and i’m a mum to my two year old daughter… noticed how i’ve avoided the terms “young mum” and “single parent”?? These terms are widely used throughout society as associating young mums with the stereotypical view that we aren’t good enough parents to our children because of our age and whether or not we are with the father of the child/in a relationship… which is why i’m involved in the campaign.
As a parent myself I know what it feels like to have people looking and staring, being judgemental… all before they have even spoke to me, and the negative media doesn’t help either. The campaign’s target is to give an insight into the mums that feel judged and “looked down” on in society so that people can see that what they might see in one situation doesn’t reflect a young persons abilty to be a good mum.

I think the way the campaign is taking shape it looks set to present the mums involved, but also other mums out there, in a way in which society doesnt expect.
The photoshoot went down well and the images which have been produced really reflects the ideas and problems that the group face, and im more than sure that it will make people think twice before making a judgment next time they see a young parent…. and the project isnt even finished yet!!

 

Photoshoot 1 with Jim Poyner

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With 9 shoot scenarios prepared from the 20 or so ideas put forward, the group met at the studio for Photoshoot 1 with Jim Poyner. The studio was fully set up for lights and offered two neutral backgrounds to shoot against. Applying what they had learnt about framing, compostition, lighting and styles the group took turns modelling and shooting the scenarios under the creative guidance of Jim Poyner and with the encouragement of Aniela Wenham who joined the project once more.

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The shoot was a great success and has given lots of options going into the design stage. Watch this space for the results of the shoot!

 

 

Campaign Concepts

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Armed with their new knowledge of powerful portraiture the group came back together to discuss their chosen target audiences. What images could they create to achieve their desired impact? The group came up with 20 strong ideas which were then themed and grouped together to inform next week’s photoshoot. The group presented their ideas in turn to Jim and a discussion was had on what to take forward. Here are just some of their ideas.

Don’t be so quick to judge; if she was your daughter or grand daughter would you tut when she gets on the bus and would ask her if she knows who the father is?

A mock newspaper with two characters pointing to myths and facts in the articles

A young parent with their child looking happy and proud with a back drop of dark newspaper cuttings with negative headlines about young parents

A girl putting a supportive arm around a young parent to-be telling them not to be scared and to ask for help if they need it.

Three women of different ages and dressed differently with different labels and underneath it says ‘pregnant at 16’

A line up of young parents with their future occupations written above them.

A list of unwanted and unhelpful advice.

Dispelling some of the myths and stereotypes.

Learning Photography Skills

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Under the guidance of Jim Poyner the group practiced taking portraits of each other with the DSLR Cameras. The portraits show how different lighting and framing can effect the mood of a portrait. The group would need to consider this if they are to make their poster campaign striking and high impact!

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Campaign Photography Concepts with Jim Poyner

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As the campaign began the creative stages we welcomed Professional Photographer Jim Poyner to the group. After a short recap and discussion on the project so far, Jim took us through some of the best shots from his portfolio. We looked at lots of examples of different ways of lighting and framing the subjects. Then it was over to us to get our hands on the cameras. Jim had brought two professional cameras and some lighting equipment and we practiced creating different effects.

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Thoughts so far…

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“Today’s session has really opened a door to telling people about my life and not been judged for it. The you tell me campaign is helping me send a message to all the people that have very negative views of young mums. We will tell you nothing but the truth!!!!!”

“I have enjoyed todays session as it opened my eyes a lot more to the media opinions of us young mums. I am definitely looking forward to doing the rest ‘You tell me’ campaign to show the wider public and young parents to be that us teen mums are not all the same!! Lets prove the stereotypical shabang is all wrong!!”

Audience for the Campaign

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Now we had a better picture of the way young parents are represented by the media we could decide on which audience we should aim our campaign at. The group felt the most important audiences the campaign should reach would be young people who were pregnant (young mums-to-be) and the wider public. They felt that young mums-to-be would need extra support and encouragement due to the judgements and negative comments they were facing and they felt that the wider public needed to be told the truth about being a young parent in order to tackle the stigma created by the media.

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Research into Stigma by Aniela Wenham

The You Tell Me project welcomed Aniela Wenham to the discussion. Aniela is a course Director within the Social Policy and Social Work Department of the University of York. Aniela has done extensive research into the experiences and opinions of young parents and is passionate about tackling the stigma and negative judgements made about them.

Aniela joined in the discussion and helped the group to think about what impact stigma against young parents had made on their lives. If we can discuss and think about this stigma then we will be better able to present positive images through our work.

Young Parents in the Media

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You Tell Me… and We’ll Tell You is a media campaign. Before we can devise some effective media messages we first must get a sense for how young parents are currently presented in the media. We looked at a series of headlines taken from The Mail, The Sun and The Guardian newspapers. The group discussed the headlines and the feelings they gave them.

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The group felt that the headlines were negative towards young parents and they discussed what effect these newspapers might have on the opinions of the wider public.

 

We’ll Tell You!

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Before we can create a striking media campaign we first must understand the issues that young parents can face. The group created characters which represented some of their experiences and also some things they know other young parents have experienced. Round the outside of the characters they wrote down the things that influenced young parents lives and on the inside they wrote what they thought and felt as a result of those things. Housing, money, relationships and well-being issues had made a big impact on the lives of the characters they created. Whilst being a mum and looking after their children was the thing that had given them the most happiness.

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