One of the best parts of my work is when I say goodbye to some of the people I have worked with knowing that they are on to new things in life. One of the more recent times was working with the young people on the HYPE project in West Lothian. HYPE (Helping Young People Engage) is a project which assists young people transitioning from school to work/further education through skills training to move on to positive destinations. Over the ten weeks I worked with the young people they proved themselves to be keen to learn much about photography and we developed a book project which they recently published on Blurb.com. Two of the young people have just started their NC in photography at West Lothian College and are looking forward to continuing their photographic learning up to HNC and degree level.
On a personal level, it was a joy to work with such a dedicated and interesting group of young people- keen to learn about the work of other photographers, engaging in conversations about art and photography and working collaboratively to produce a stunning set of images in what was, in photographic terms, only a short time. OK, so I know that out of the eleven young people I worked with only two have gone on to study photography but it’s so much more than that. A group of young people, who didn’t know each other, and who, for the most part had stopped attending school, turned up every week to work, meet people and learn. Friendships were forged, confidence grew, knowledge was shared.
This week, three of them came along to the Civic Centre in Livingston, set up their exhibition, and spoke to strangers about their project. They took great confidence in being asked questions, seeing that people were interested in what they had achieved and how working on this project had lead them on to a positive destination.
Their book, Show me the Light, is available to view at Blurb.com
This picture was taken by Heather, the community education officer leading the project, who was also inspired to take better pictures.