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Forces Film Festival

Friday, 19 July 2013

Young people from across Hampshire have been getting creative with the help of the armed forces.

Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Defence Community Covenant, more than 100 young people from Fareham and Gosport, East Hampshire and Rushmoor wards have engaged with the local armed forces and created original animated films.

Hampshire County Council has been working with young people from three areas, using Arts Centres as central hubs.

All of the groups carried out research into the armed forces, including meeting and interviewing forces' personnel, visiting relevant museums and sites including HMS Collingwood, HMS Bristol, Bordon Garrison, the Gurkha Museum and Aldershot Military Museum.

Councillor Keith Mans, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Lead Member for Children's Services, said: "Many of the young people are from military families so this is a topic close to their hearts. For others this was the first time they had considered the significance of the armed forces in Hampshire. The project has promoted a sense of understanding, respect and interest, and provided a fantastic example of how arts can make difficult topics engaging for young people. Film-making has proved to be an excellent vehicle for learning to work together, for confidence-building through decision making, planning a project, working to tight deadlines and turning creative ideas into a professional finished product, to screen in front of a real audience."

Leigh Johnstone, Local Arts Development Officer at Ashcroft Arts Centre, said: "This project has fired up imaginations, giving young people fantastic opportunities to learn more about both the Army and Royal Navy and develop their creative skills. It has been a pleasure working with HMS Collingwood, a partnership that I hope will continue into the future."

The Community Covenant grant scheme has been set up to fund local projects that strengthen the ties or the mutual understanding between members of the Armed Forces Community and the wider community in which they live.

Up to £30 million over 4 financial years (2011 - 2015) has been set aside by the MOD to help communities undertake projects that promote greater understanding between the military and civilian populations.

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