Engaging Images – “The Wider Picture”
Awarded Black Country ESF Community Grants – £9534.00
The Wider Picture project is a 6 week bespoke course aimed at the unemployed and disadvantaged across the Black Country. It aims to build self-esteem and confidence via the medium of photography. The project encourages participants to find solutions to everyday problems through the use of photographic problem-solving skills. Photography is a conduit, an avenue to self-portray and provide the evacuation of emotions.
The Wider Picture enabled participants to work together, solve problems, and develop a team work ethic. From day one self-esteem rises enormously and the opportunity to improve communications with clients immediately. The project offered a hands on approach with the production of a full portfolio and an exhibition opportunity at the end. Everyone is still in touch therefore an entire peer network has been established. The group engaged with photo café’s and additional volunteering within the studio has been encouraged. The Wider Picture peer group is well developed and will be and it’s legacy. There was an excellent turn out at the exhibition event and the prestige, pride and accomplishment was felt by all.
Additionally, the project has supported 2 participants into jobs, and all have refreshed CV’s support provided by local partners. There are 3 participants who are developing their self-employment businesses, and 1 participant has developed a separate self-help group therefore the ripples of the project are far wider.
ESF Community Grants has been fundamental because it was our first award of funding and the only way that we would have been able to get the course out there, in the numbers we wanted and reach the vulnerable groups we wanted to support. With each round of delivery the reach became wider with the final project having the ability to scale up, it has become a product in its own right, tool and process that works.