‘Neets’ who made life-saver video are nominated for award by firefighters

Bedford Prince's Trust Team 23.
Bedford Prince's Trust Team 23.

A group of unemployed people who made a video which could be a life-saver have been nominated for a competition which showcases the achievements of youngsters.

Bedford Prince’s Trust Team 23 produced the 10-minute video and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who approached the team, have nominated the film-makers for Bedfordshire Young People of the Year (Yopey).

This contest reveals, recognises and rewards positive role models across the county. There is £2,000 in prize money for young winners to share with good causes.

Team 23 is made up of NEETS -­ people not in employment, education, or training. Like other teams from the trust they spend time with the fire service learning fire and road safety education and also doing community work educating the public.

The fire service asked the team to make a video to help with a national campaign about electrical safety entitled You Can Recharge Your Phone But Not Your Life.

It focused on encouraging people to use the correct charger for mobile phones rather than cheap imitations and to do so safely rather than overloading sockets.

Lewis Clifford, the service’s youth development officer, said the team created the video off their own initiative, from the idea to the finished product.

He said: “The film was extremely well planned and thought out and based around two scenarios of a right and a wrong way with regards to how to safely charge mobile phones.

“The team produced the film completely by themselves including planning, filming, sourcing props, picking locations, writing scripts, acting, editing and all other necessary tasks.”

He said the fire service was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the quality of the video which had been an invaluable tool in delivering the campaign to schools.

“For young people who were NEET at the time and had not been together as a group for very long they showed an excellent togetherness and team spirit and were able to meet deadlines, work to a brief, plan and create an excellent piece of work with every member of the team having a specific role delegated to them.”

Lewis said that by showing the video the wider community would benefit as showing it in one assembly can potentially have an impact on 300 pupils.

He said: “We have had very positive feedback from schools on the campaign, including the video.”

The team also came up with ideas for a poster and leaflet campaign, with their creative ideas combined and used in three main local newspapers.

Ellen Friend, 19, of Cromwell Road, Bedford, said she did media studies at A-level and to have the opportunity to work on a video was exciting. She did a lot of the script work and the editing.

She said: “It was a different editing process to what I was used to so it was challenging, but once I worked it out it was fun.”

Ellen said there was another camera behind the scenes and with the out-takes from the main effort they made another film just for the trust.

Ellen said she learned from the experience. To be given a task and work with relative strangers was encouraging. She added: “Hopefully our efforts will save lives”²

Jack Patton, 20, of Goldington Avenue, Bedford, had also studied media but nothing like this project where he did camera work.

He said: “It was a brilliant day. We all worked together, communicated well, and had a lot fun making the video.”

He was surprised how good the video actually was and felt that it was effective in putting across a serious message which hopefully will save lives.

Jack had learned skills which he hopes will pave the way to a job in the media.

Tom Jackson, 20, of Kirkham Close, Bedford, was a production manager checking that all went smoothly.

He said: “It was great to be involved with then other young people. Everyone was having fun, but we knew there was a serious side to it.

“We had a good response from the fire service when we saw the film. Everyone was pleased.”

Others in the team were William Baynes, Lucinda Bradley, Jake Byrne, Natalie Burry, Michael Clark, Kieran Johnson, Bobbie Keane, Sade Morgan, Anton Taylor and Jade Whittaker.

Yopey founder Tony Gearing: said: “These young people found something positive out of their own situations. Making this video was fun, but it had a serious message and, hopefully, it will save precious lives.”

As well as Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, sponsors include Central Bedfordshire Council, Atlas Converting Equipment of Kempston, Movianto of Bedford, William Jackson Food Group which includes Parripak in Chicksands, and Carlisle Managed Solutions.

There is a top prize of £800 to be won by a young person or group of young people who help others. The young person or group keeps £400 and gives the other half to a good cause. Second place will win £400, third and junior winners £200 each, all similarly shared.

Do you know somebody who deserves the title Young Person of the Year?

To nominate visit yopey.org or write, enclosing a stamped-addressed-envelope, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN for a paper entry form. Entries close on Thursday, February 27.