Alison Tripney, senior tutor at West Bromwich Albion Foundation said:
“The entrepreneurship idea came about following a nine week series of photography workshops delivered by Imaging Partnership. During this photography course, the students aged 16 – 17 years learned the basics of taking effective photographs with their own digital compact cameras. They then moved into specific topics such a portrait work, landscapes and more challenging assignments using different light and composition. Photography proved to provide an excellent medium to bring out the best in the students and we were really pleased to see respect, trust and a community spirit emerge from the process over the nine weeks. At the end of the programme, the students assisted by the Imaging Partnership practitioner, staged an exhibition of their work which was displayed at The Public, a multi-purpose venue and art gallery in West Bromwich, West Midlands,
Buoyed by the success of the photography workshops and exhibition, The Foundation decided to take the work a stage further. Alison continues,
“We wanted to further engage and support this group of students that attend our Pupil Referral Unit as they had shown an interest in developing a future career in the art industries. Whilst they all had different aspirations, such as becoming a wedding photographer or a commercial artist, our common goal was to equip students with the wider skills to get them on their respective career ladders. This included learning how to work in collaboration, be punctual and to be focused and tenacious to achieve their goals.”
“We decided to continue to build on these new photography skills as a way of engaging the students to consider their future careers in the arts, either by photo journaling or by filming each other. This work was collectively called ‘The Project”.
Kirsty Jenkins, a student on the photography programme and participant in The Project said:
“It was so different to what we would normally do and it was incredibly involving and fun. We were aware from the outset what the learning outcomes were and working together helped my confidence in starting a wedding photography business.”
Whilst the Foundation encourages students to get involved in a number of activities as part of their coursework, photography has yielded particularly positive results for both the boys and girls.
“Photography has an enormous appeal because our boys can be very physical and asking them to work together is an ongoing challenge. We asked them to watch a selection of films that illustrated the mood and tone of what we wanted to see from their project work. They all surprised us. They collaborated with the girls and their behaviour was terrific. They showed respect and a courteous manner to get some really creative work completed. Certain individuals wanted specific roles in the entrepreneurship project and we left them to evaluate what ideas they had. Again, their behaviour was very encouraging.
The Foundation’s motto is “Inspire to Achieve” and this guides our strategic objectives which are to create a “lifetime membership” for the community.
Tom Doyle, Imaging Partnership founder said
“When we started working with WBAF, the objective was to equip the students with practical life skills, delivered in a fun way that would hopefully engage them to work together as a team. The outcome has resulted in so much more for everyone involved. The students were engaged from the start and contributed fully in the workshops. They were all motivated to produce some thoughtful and highly creative work which we were proud to put on show at The Public.”
Alison Tripney concluded
“We are pleased and proud that the students got so much out of this initiative. Photography has proved to be much more than a life skill. We’ve had three positive outcomes – new skills, an inspiring exhibition and motivating budding entrepreneurs.”
The Albion Foundation is a registered charity that works in partnership with West Bromwich Albion Football Club. For more information visit.
Screenplay called ‘Conversations’ by Jessica Ryan, aged 17. This was Jessica’s work as a result of ”The Project’.