The Cambridge Film Trust’s Youth Lab is a youth-led initiative for 16-24 year olds. The Warwick and Dominey Fund awarded a grant to extend the Youth Lab to reach more young people from deprived and/or minority backgrounds. Research shows that these groups often experience additional social and financial pressures that exclude them from participating in the arts.

The grant helped the Cambridge Film Trust to employ a film educator/mentor to deliver outreach and one-to-one mentoring, as well as group activities. The funded work successfully recruited six new members.

The Youth Lab has been successful in supporting personal development and increasing confidence, with members gaining skills that are transferable to potential future education and employment opportunities. All participants also reported improvements in their general mood and wellbeing, as a result of attending the Youth Lab and forging new friendships with like-minded people.

One-to-one mentorship was one of the key features of the project, supporting participants with their individual interests and aspirations. It helped participants achieve some of the following successes:

  • A NEET (not in education, employment or training) member received support to apply to university and has confirmed a place to start studying for a BA in Filmmaking.
  • A disabled member received support to develop her interest in film reviewing, gaining sufficient confidence to start her own blog.
Five young people standing and one young person in a wheelchair, in a cinema, facing the camera and smiling.