Youths to transform Crystal Palace park with digital re-brand

Croydon Guardian: Edward Bond - Film Team - walking with dinosaurs Edward Bond - Film Team - walking with dinosaurs

Young people struggling to find a job have been given valuable experience helping to re-brand Crystal Palace park.

The Digital Arts Project, run by Carve Productions, has taken on 24 young people who are transforming the park to make it a hub for residents.

The 18-24 year-olds, recruited through the Job Centre, work two days a week in the park’s Visitor Centre which they reopened in October after it had been closed for 12 months.

They are also relaunching the park digitally with a new website and videos hoping to attract more visitors.

Aaron Carty, Executive Producer at Carve Productions, said "The project has been really well received by the local public, they’ve been coming into the visitor centre after seeing the lights finally on again.

"The support has been fantastic, a lot of people are really passionate about the park."

The team have now branched out to offer help to local businesses producing videos for Bridge House Pub and Rose’s florist in Penge and working with Crystal Palace Football Club.

The project aims to give young graduates and those who have been in low paid work, a chance to gain work experience to help them get their first foot on the career ladder.

James Elias, a participant in the project and aspiring entrepreneur, said: "The project appealed to me because it gives a variety of real life experience in the media.

"It’s also a great excuse to go out and speak to people, I live near the park already and this is a great way of giving back to the community."

The team have previously showcased their work to Channel 4.

Participant Layla Allen, 22 from Beckenham, said: "The showcase was really scary to start with but so fun once we were up there presenting.

"I’ve always been quite shy but this project has really given me the chance to work on my communication skills."

Residents and users of the park seem impressed with the work the team are doing.

Regular park user Michelle Thomas said: "Crystal Palace Park is a beautiful space but the maintenance could be improved. The new social media outlets that the team have set up gives local people a great platform to have our voices heard."

Tom Conran, a project leader, said the team all work really hard and are keen to get on and learn.

He added: "I'm from North London and I had never heard of the park, it's not publicised as much as it should be. We're hoping to be the ones to change that."

 

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