If you want to improve your image, asking students the best way might not be the obvious route.
But an organisation which helps transform the lives of excluded children has received a big boost by a joint project with creative college boffins.
Elevated Minds Community Interest Company (EMCIC) set up a project to improve the image of vulnerable pupils, and were helped by undergraduates of London College of Communication (LCC).
The partnership enabled them to raise their profile, in a way which they would not have been able to afford – the costs of a professional agency or photographer would have been too great.
EMCIC, based in Urlwin Street, Camberwell, works to give young people alternative strategies to improve mental health and wellbeing – delivering accredited, early intervention programmes to improve the emotional intelligence of predominantly Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) vulnerable young people.
It focuses on permanently excluded from mainstream school, on the verge of exclusion or those regularly absent from school.
Animation, illustration and photography students from London College of Communication, based at Elephant & Castle, developed EMCIC animations, photography and branded images that are now available to view on the organisation’s website.
Doreen Sinclair-McCollin, director and co-founder of EMCIC said: “[The students] talked us through each step of what they were doing.
They knew our brief well and were able to provide examples of what we requested.
“They listened well and took onboard everything we said, telling us what would work and what wouldn’t and the reasons why. It was a great experience and we had a good connection with the students.
“We would like to work with the team again to produce future advertising resources, for example a banner and a standardised email signature for all employees, as well as mentoring for one of our creative young people to produce a company animation.”
LCC photography student Adeola Ogunsiji-Isaac said: “I don’t think I was expecting the client relationship to be as good as it was and I think because it was community-based that was why it was so fun.”
Gill Henderson, Cultural and Communities Partnerships Manager at London College of Communication said: “In the context of a global pandemic, it has never been more important for grassroots community groups to develop their digital communications and how they present themselves online.
This is why this year’s edition of the Talent Works programme has been particularly special for both students and groups.
“For most students this was their first opportunity to collaborate in person with students outside their course, to work on a professional brief and build relationships with clients.
“We could not be prouder of the work produced by the students over the course of these two weeks, and we look forward to seeing how the groups will continue to use these websites, platforms, designs and promotional videos going forward.”
Elevated Minds CIC got the work for free, while the students in the project – Marcelina Dopierala, Adeola Ogunsiji-Isaac and Naomi Keshet – were paid for their work.
The work took place as part of Talent Works, an initiative launched by London College of Communication in 2016 that provides free support to local community groups and businesses through collaborations with students
This year, Talent Works supported local groups addressing inequality and poverty in Southwark, with a particular focus on marginalised communities adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sixteen local groups were provided with free digital and communications support by London College of Communication students – including Black Connection, a social network for Black queer men aged 50 and over, and Voades, a charity providing emotional support for Spanish and Portuguese speakers, to name just two of the organisations that received help from the students.
Talent Works has so far helped 97 organisations and provided work for 170 students.
The current programme is managed by London College of Communication and Camberwell College of Arts, UAL, in partnership with Community Southwark and supported by Trust for London.
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