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Damilola Taylor Trust given £10,000 to make pandemic film with young south Londoners

The trust set up in memory of Damilola Taylor, the ten-year-old boy shockingly killed in Peckham in 2000, has been given £10,000 by the National Lottery to make a film reflecting the experiences of young people in south London.

The ‘Celebrating Hope’ project will take on up to twenty young people, aged 14-24 years old, from across Southwark, Lambeth and Croydon and will be led by four members of the trust.

The Damilola Taylor Trust said that the project will encourage disadvantaged young people to get creative by writing and shooting a film to illustrate the impact the pandemic has had on them.

The twenty young people will lead the project – acting, writing scripts, shooting and editing footage, as well as learning about even more technical skills like  colour grading and lighting.

Damilola Taylor

Abba Bako, member of Damilola Youth, part of the trust, said: “For us, the idea of having a film project is a brilliant medium for young people to express issues that came up for them during the pandemic that they wanted to raise awareness of. Film is a great way for young people to express themselves.

“It is much less painful, or even scary, than going to therapy or talking about it so directly. The creative process behind making the film means that young people are distracted by the learning process and makes what they’re talking about seem less difficult to express.

“The lockdowns have had a big effect on young people, but we have found that young people’s feelings are being patronised and dismissed because ‘they still have lots of life yet to live’. This attitude is actually really unhelpful, and we wanted to put on a showcase, and make this an opportunity for young people to be heard and their voices amplified.”

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