A group of young film makers from Birmingham-based Optima Community Association has produced a series of short films to teach them how to stand up to bullies.
The youngsters, aged 10 to 14 years old, created You Took My Smile Away, Stand Up To Bullies and Talking About Bullying after a series of workshops with film maker Lee Martin from Steamroom Media and Optima’s Community and Play Worker, James Hobbs.
Lee Martin said: “Bullying was a subject close to their hearts but it was clear that they didn’t want to admit to being victims, so we took an indirect approach where they could explore issues creatively and the children then interviewed each about what to do if someone is a victim of bullying.
“The group discussed how bullying affects children not only when they are young but how bullying can stay with victims for a lifetime.”
Three of the participants, 12-year-old Molly, 14-year-old Cerri Ann and 10-year-old Lawson, wrote poems that became You Took My Smile Away and Stand Up To Bullies.
The youngsters are part of Optima’s junior news team, Reports4U, which was formed in 2010 by Optima’s Community Projects team, as part of a range of activities to engage young people living on the Association’s Attwood Green estate and divert them from anti-social behaviour.
The films are available on Optima Community Association’s YouTube Channel and on Reports4U own Facebook page.
Optima Community Association is part of WM Housing Group.