Barefoot recently screened a short film about its summer Parkour activity to an audience of parents, partners and funders as well as local MP Johnny Mercer.
Billed as ‘a world premiere’ the event on 19th November was also an opportunity for Barefoot’s staff and some of the young people they work with through their Spaceshot St Budeaux youth project to explain what they do in the area and why it’s so important. As well as Johnny Mercer, guests included Plymouth City Council Portfolio Holder for Youth Councillor Mark Deacon, local Councillor Sally Haydon, Chair of the North Yard Trust (which funds Barefoot’s St Budeaux work alongside Clarion Housing) Emma Miller and Nick Cook, Assistant Director, Children’s Services/Barnados Cymru and South West. Also attending was Plymouth film maker Dominic Finan who shot and edited the mini movie for Barefoot.
Barefoot Director Richard Marsh said:
“We were knocked out by the response to our invitations and delighted to be able to showcase the film and our work in the area. What made it even better was that many of our young people volunteered to help and speak to the audience and even more started filtering in to attend the youth session immediately afterwards, giving those attending the chance to meet the young people whom this is all about.”
Barefoot is working closely with Plymouth City Council Youth Service and the police in St Budeaux and representatives from both were also at the event. PC Helen Blackler, who successfully applied to Proceeds of Crime to support the Parkour project, and Sergeant Esther Tucker, both from the Child Centre Policing Team took the opportunity to chat to many of the young people. Also attending were Rishi Bates, Community Youth Service Manager and colleague Caroline Storer who have helped direct additional funding to the Parkour Project and other more recent activities, including a residential at Lopwell Dam and boxing sessions.
Barefoot Professional Youth Worker Jon Dingle adds:
“We know from the rapid growth in numbers how important our sessions are to local young people and as our relationship with them develops we see great things ahead. There was lots of giggling when they saw themselves leaping over things in the film, but engaging in that activity and speaking in front of an adult audience is helping to build their confidence and show them what they are capable of.”
The screening took place at The Barn in Barne Barton which Barnados generously let Barefoot use for its Friday youth sessions. Starting in August, these have been attracting up to 60 young people. Barefoot Youth Worker Becky Holbrook, who leads these sessions with colleague Georgia Forsyth, also created a delicious buffet for the event with help from our young volunteers. With all Barefoot hands to the pump Senior Youth Support Worker Carly Brown-Martin took on the role of projectionist and mentoring our young speakers.
We’ll leave the last word to special guest Johnny Mercer:
"I was delighted to attend Barefoot's premiere of their Parkour movie last week. The team are doing amazing work with the young people in St Budeaux and it was fantastic to see how engaged they all were. Looking forward to supporting another event in the near future."