community:matters is our multi-arts programme empowering marginalised young people in the London Borough of Brent. Launched in 2019, this programme is a partnership with three services that support: young people with learning disabilities (Brent Mencap); young migrants and refugees (Salusbury World); and young carers (Brent Gateway Partnership).

We spoke to Harini (aged 13), who attends Salusbury World, about her experience on our animation project.

“We’ve been making a short film. I’ve learnt the different ways to record and what the points are of the films. I’ve also learnt how to make the films simple and short whilst also having a deep meaning.”

Harini’s involvement in this project became an avenue for both creative expression and personal growth. Her journey within the project led her to craft a film titled ‘Accident,’ delving into a compelling narrative about overcoming challenges. “It’s about a girl whose mum was in a car crash and developed depression. So, she went to the doctor with her sister and was prescribed medicine that helped her get better as time passed. Once the mum was better, the girl was able to go back to school and felt strong.”

Settling into life in England presented its initial challenges for Harini, who admitted that it wasn’t a seamless transition. “I didn’t really feel comfortable in England at first. I’m not sure if I’m speaking the language as well as others or if my accent is good.”

Despite these feelings, Harini discovered a source of comfort and connection through the projects. While she found certain aspects challenging, such as the speaking parts, she enjoyed the collaborative experience with Linda, the Create filmmaker.

“I enjoyed working with Linda. She’s nice and has a passion for teaching kids how to make films and she has a very nice teaching technique.”

Harini’s focus is on becoming a doctor or scientist, but she recognised the importance of engaging in creative activities. “It felt very good to do something creative because you learn something new and can use this new skill for a competition or school.”

Harini cherishes the sense of belonging that comes from taking part in projects. “I’ve done projects with Salusbury World before, and we’ve been on many trips. I love being a part of Salusbury World. I would take part in a project like this again; it’s a good opportunity.”

community:matters is supported by John Lyon’s Charity.

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