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COoL member secures Big Lottery Funding

COoL member First Take is celebrating after receiving nearly £155,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund

This Liverpool-based group use screenwriting, filmmaking and acting as tools to empower people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The new grant will fund a three-year project ‘Reel Recovery’ where people write, film and produce ten short films and in the third year a feature length film!

Lynne Harwood, a director at First Take explains the value of the work: “Making films is such an amazing and empowering thing to do. We worked with a group of people from the recovery community in 2015 and created five short films. It was a brilliant project and at the end of it people wanted more, which is why we made this application and devised it around what people wanted. Liverpool City Council supports First Take, which was invaluable in making the bid. It’s going to be a fantastic three years and we can’t wait to get started.”

First Take works collaboratively with recovery organisations across Liverpool who signpost people onto the project once they are abstinent. Michelle Johnston previously benefitted from the programme and is now a member of the steering group. She said, “Working with First Take stopped me being isolated, gave structure to my week and being involved in making a film was very rewarding. The last film we made with First Take I played Carol, a homeless woman who was an alcoholic and the film was ‘Christmas Carol’ and it was selected for International Film Festivals and did really well. Coming up with ideas, writing and making films is really special. First Take is an organisation that encourages all your artistic talents and brings out the best in people.”

During the third year of the project a Reel Recovery Production Company and an online Channel will be set up to enable the project to be sustainable and the group to continue to make films. For information about the project and screenings of the films visit www.firsttake.org.uk

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DaDaFest Receives Funding from Big Lottery

COoL member DaDaFest has received a grant of over £275, 000 from Big Lottery Fund to be used for a new project called “DaDaFest Rookies”.

The project aims to increase employability within the creative sector for young disabled people through training, order mentoring and placements within arts organisations.

The funding from Big Lottery will allow us to support young people to develop their skills as artists and producers and enable them to pursue careers in the creative sector. The project will be led by young people via our leadership groups and local schools will be able to input their thoughts via quarterly forum meetings. Over a three year period, we will offer mentoring to young people, which will involve taking part in sessions led by highly experienced professionals. We will also offer flexible placements for young producers within our own office as well as with partner organisations.

DaDaFest Rookies builds on our successful Young DaDaFest programme, which has seen over 2,500 young people participate in a wide variety of different events and projects. This includes being part of our biennial international disability arts festival as well as leading on the development of our annual young people’s events. We have supported several young people who have already made steps into professional careers in the arts. DaDaFest Rookies will allow us to support an increased number of young people to kickstart their arts careers.

www.dadafest.co.uk 

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