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A #DigitalBoot camp has provided vital support for young people from Greater Manchester with developing powerful and engaging content about their experiences of lockdown.

The Get Started with Content Creation course was delivered through live and interactive sessions run by DEVA/hack, part of IN4.0 Group, in collaboration with The Prince’s Trust.

The free two-week course supported 15 people, aged 16-30 from across Greater Manchester, to develop their digital technology skills and build their confidence. 

DEVA/hack is based at digital technology hub IN4.0 with The Landing at MediaCityUK, but the course was quickly adapted to be delivered virtually during lockdown. 

The students shared their inspiring stories through short videos related to themes including diversity, race, mental health and feelings of isolation during lockdown.

This follows new research from Public Health England (PHE) that Covid-19 has caused an increase in anxiety in young people, and a third of young people aged 8-24 feel more worried, sad and stressed than before lockdown.

Students also received valuable career support from mentors including multi award-winning creative director Amrit Singh, co-director of Blue Caribou Productions Joanne Parker, inspirational speaker Stuart Fenwick and film maker Ste Bergin. The Prince’s Trust North West Young Person of the Year 2019, Chérie Bosama, also supported the mentor groups.

DEVA/hack is continuing to work with The Prince’s Trust and will be holding another course on 7 December.

Mo Isap, the founder of DEVA/hack and CEO of IN4.0 Group, said: “We were really impressed with the outstanding content that has been produced by all of the talented students from Greater Manchester who took part in the Get Started with Content Creation course. It’s inspiring that the students were able to get out of their comfort zones and share their personal stories, especially when there has been an increase in social anxiety among young people because of Covid-19.

“We know from working with The Prince’s Trust that supporting our young people with developing their digital skills, seeking employment opportunities and improving their self-confidence will have a long-term positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing. This is part of our continued commitment to empower the next generation.”

Andrew Ridge, Deputy Director of Operations for the North of England, said: “We were delighted to partner with DEVA/hack to deliver Get Started with Content Creation as part of The Prince’s Trust’s support for young people across Greater Manchester.

“The Prince’s Trust and YouGov report, Young People in Lockdown, found that 43 per cent of young people across the UK feel their anxiety levels have increased as a result of the crisis. We are committed to making sure that young people get the opportunities they need to realise their potential and upskill themselves through courses like this. These interventions can be a real turning point for those who are struggling with their self-esteem, so it’s wonderful to see young people expressing themselves by sharing their stories.”

Get Started with Content Creation was delivered as part of Future Workforce Fund, an innovative two-year project in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which aims to support young people across the city region to build their confidence, develop new skills and secure employment.

The overall winning video was produced by Mina Matesun, who made a powerful video about diversity and language, which featured several bilingual women from Manchester.

Mina said: “My biggest take from the Get Started with Content Creation course was that aside from all of the negativity and struggle that’s in the world right now, there are so many positives. I wanted people to feel heard and seen, and most importantly to express my adoration. I have such a love and appreciation for other cultures that it won’t stop here.”

The next Get Started with Content Creation course will be held Monday 7th to Friday 11th December 2020, you can register for the course here

All of the videos from the content creation course can be viewed here

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