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Typecast Awards give young people a voice

Posted on - 7th October, 2009 - 6:03pm | Author - | Posted in - Campaigns, Observations, Opinion

Youths Run RiotA new website has been setup to give young people in Preston, and Lancashire, a voice to dispel the media myths about drugs, bullying, suicide and lots of other cultural taboos.The Typecast Awards site, setup by Lancashire Police Authority, in conjunction with a group of young people and industry experts, allows 11-19-year-olds to upload text, video, photos, audio or anything else they feel expresses their opinion on a range of subjects.

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The entries have been flooding in and Helen Partidge, 24, who has been part of the team who set up the site are really impressed with what’s been coming in:

We’ve been bowled over by the reaction. Some of the videos and photos that are coming in are brilliant.

We wanted to create something that gave young people a voice and a chance to show their side of the story, instead of all the headlines that you read, see and hear in the media.

It’s a very brave initiative from Lancashire Police Authority but it seems to be something that has captured the imagination of young people in Lancashire and we hope to see even more entries before the closing date in December.

Partidge works for 1965 Records who were brought in to make sure the project and website would resonate with young people. Users can upload direct via the site and the Typecast team then check the content and publish it online.

The entries are split across four themes of gangs-bullying, knives-guns, anti-social behaviour-criminal damage and drugs-alcohol.

Watch one of the entries, two girls talking about negative stereotyping

Partridge is pleased with the range of entries they’ve been getting and when asked to pick out a favourite she struggles, but brings to light an interesting story about the perception of council estates:

We spoke to one lad in Preston and he said it wasn’t other children who stereotyped him – it was adults. He said it’s older people who are doing the stereotyping. We had one kid in an estate who said they liked living in the estate and they didn’t like going outside of the estate as it felt more dangerous. It’s these kind of opinions that are really interesting and show a different side to young people.

The most interesting entry we’ve had so far was from a girl who did a piece about bullying. She set it to Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist” and it was really moving, she’d obviously spent a lot of time on it.

Watch the piece about bullying by a young girl

The Typecast Awards are being supported by Rock FM and there are prizes for the best entry. Partridge hopes that they have become a trusted ‘brand’ for young people and that the project will continue into 2010.

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