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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Change Creators: Induction Week

On Thursday 18th February, the Change Creators programme kicked off with a two-hour induction evening at Knowle West Media Centre. The session was designed to bring all of the Change Creators together for the first time and to challenge them in a team-based activity.

The team had to plan and execute a photo shoot in just 55 minutes and produce a powerful individual portrait of each person and two dynamic group photos. The team were given a camera, lights and access to Apple iMac computers, but the rest was up to them…The purpose of the task was to give the team an insight into what the next four months will entail, preparing them to take on positions of leadership and work collaboratively as a team.

To find out more visit the Change Creators page.


2016 Workshop Programme

We’re in the process of planning a programme of practical workshops for our digital making space KWMC The Factory, ranging from basic carpentry to digital design and manufacturing using laser cutters and CNC equipment.

If you’re interested in a manufacturing workshop please contact Justin Ricks to register your interest. We’d be keen to hear if there are specific workshops you’d be interested in accessing from our exciting new making centre.

Take a look at some of the things we’ve made at The Factory since it opened last year…


Meet the 2015 Junior Digital Producers

In October 2015 Knowle West Media Centre employed eight young people aged 18-24 as Junior Digital Producers (JDPs), a role supported by the Creative Employment Programme.

During their six months’ employment with us, the JDPs learn in-demand digital skills from industry experts, such as coding, animation, filmmaking and design, whilst being supported to improve their confidence and professionalism. Their training takes place within the context of a ‘real life’ project that aims to produce a positive social impact by working with local people to respond to an identified need.

They are the third group to be employed in this way – the first having worked on the Data Patchwork programme and the second on an interactive documentary.

The 2015 JDPs are Alex, Chris, Dipo, Gage, George, Kelly, Raddy and Yasmin. This year the JDPs will be working on the food research project Who decides what’s in my fridge?

JDPs 2015

Seven of the eight Junior Digital Producers for 2015: Gage, Chris, Yasmin, Alex, Raddy, George and Dipo. Not pictured: Kelly.



Turn your ‘junk’ into gems this Black Friday

As Black Friday dawns and Christmas shoppers start the hunt for gifts at bargain prices, a group of artists are encouraging people to breathe new life into old toys – rather than throwing them away to make room for new ones.

Over the last few months we’ve been collaborating with artists Ludic Rooms have been touring the streets of Knowle West with a toy trike, collecting unwanted toys and games and recording the stories behind them.

We discovered that, a month before Christmas, many people take stock of their toys and games, throwing old ones away to make room for the new gifts they’re buying or expecting. Items are often in a useable condition or can be easily mended.

With funding from the Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Arts Programme for Green Capital year, we ran a number of ‘toy hacks’ where children and families worked with artists and technologists to make new toys and games from the donated items, transforming them into something that everyone could enjoy.

A broken garage for toy cars became a wildlife haven as it was remodelled as the Minibeast Hotel. A solitary bike wheel and some wooden beams came together to form a balance board.  Hundreds of broken character toys and fast food freebies were reborn as new exciting action figures.

Working with Ludic Rooms we’ve also produced a series of short films recommending simple and affordable ways to recycle old toys. These will be launched online on 27th November – to coincide with Black Friday.

Melissa Mean, Head of our Arts Programme, said: “There’s another side to Black Friday: as well as the shopping and buying, lots of toys and games are discarded that could easily be transformed into something new. We hope The Forgotten Toys project will encourage people to see “junk” in a different way and try out our easy and fun ways to reuse old toys. If we just use our imagination, we can reduce the amount we needlessly send to landfill, bring people together, and create something playful and fun in the process.”

Dom Breadmore from Ludic Rooms said: “We’ve been really inspired by the stories and playful memories of the people we’ve met whilst out on the toy trike in Knowle West. We’re really hoping that this project will inspire families to look again at the toys that we all consider throwing away to see the forgotten play potential in these objects – often beyond how they were intended to be used. The only limit is our collective imagination.”

Watch the films on Facebook from 27th November.

For more information visit or contact KWMC on 0117 903 0444.

KWMC: The Factory receives Bristol enterprise award

KWMC: The Factory has been recognised for its contribution to training and manufacturing in Bristol, in an awards ceremony celebrating young craftsmen and women at the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House.

The Guild of Guardians presented its prestigious Alfred Telling Award to our new digital manufacturing enterprise on Thursday 15th October 2015. The annual award provides a bursary of £1,500 for an entrepreneur starting their own business in a manual trade in the Bristol area.

KWMC: The Factory was nominated by BRAVE, a not-for-profit business support organisation that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs start and run successful ventures.

Located in Knowle West, an area where satisfaction with local jobs is very low – just 12% in the last Bristol City Council Quality of Life survey (2013) – KWMC: The Factory aims to bring together artists, makers and local people and open up access to digital manufacturing technologies, such as CNC machines and laser cutters.

From two units at the new Filwood Green Business Park, KWMC: The Factory manufactures a range of products from recycled and sustainable materials and provides in-demand skills training for volunteers, businesses and schools. It also connect with other creative centres in the city, such as Pervasive Media Studio, to assist in the prototyping and development of new products.

The enterprise developed out of a pilot scheme run by KWMC and local charity re:work from the empty Eagle House Youth Centre in Knowle West. Between October 2014 and May 2015 their ‘pop up’ enterprise produced nearly 500 pieces of furniture to kit out Filwood Green Business Park, in a commission from building contractors MIDAS and Bristol City Council.

This summer KWMC moved manufacturing activity into Filwood Green Business Park and KWMC: The Factory was born. To date, they have provided 40 people with training in using digital manufacturing equipment.

Liz Sands, Director of BRAVE, said: “We are delighted to have nominated KWMC: The Factory for this prestigious award. It’s a very deserving winner and we have followed its development closely from the beginning. We hope this award helps to raise the profile of KWMC: The Factory and its cutting-edge digital manufacturing techniques and training.”

Justin Ricks, our Business Development Manager, commented: “We’re delighted to receive the Alfred Telling Award for our inclusive and environmentally friendly approach to manufacturing. Digital fabrication is fundamentally changing the way people make things – and we want to ensure that these technologies are available to the many, not just the few, and that they can be utilised to make things that are sustainable, attractive and innovative. The award from the Guild of Guardians will enable us to purchase more equipment for use by volunteer groups who come to us for training.”

For information about KWMC: The Factory please contact Justin on 0117 903 0444.

Computer course supports beginner users

In March 2015 Joan Roberts started the Tuesday morning beginners’ computer course at Knowle West Media Centre. She was a complete beginner but has quickly gained confidence, and is now typing documents, using the internet and email.

We asked Joan what she thought was the best thing about the course and she said: “How helpful all the tutors are. They speak very plainly so I understand.”

Here you can see Joan being helped by Rob Hopson, one of our volunteers.

Rob Joan Use jpg

Young people represent Bristol in international Culture Jam


In July two young people from KWMC represented Bristol and presented their prototype for a new game to a packed audience in Vienna.

Europeana Creative Culture Jam was the final showcase event of Europeana Creative, a groundbreaking project that explores ways for creative industries to connect with cultural heritage. The two-day event was held at the Austrian National Museum in Vienna, with participants attending from across Europe.

Earlier this year we hosted a Culture Jam pre-event, where young people aged 13-18 spent the day exploring content from Europeana’s digital cultural heritage archive. They were given the following brief: ‘create a product that reuses archives and/or enables people to view archives in an interesting way.’

The group of 14 were introduced to the cultural heritage archive, discovering what archives look like and how they can be re-used, then they took part in five workshops facilitated by a laser cutter design artist, a playground engineer, a games designer, a clothes designer and a creative arts practitioner.

The young people then had 45 minutes to research the archives, come up with an idea, create a prototype and finally present back to the wider team. Some of the ideas were:

A chessboard, with 3D printed figures using archive character designs. The chessboard itself would use simple light and dark archive photographs as the board squares (Louis, 13)

A 2D computer game called ‘Time Jump’, targeted at young people aged 10-16. Time Jump takes the gamer through different time periods in different countries, from cave person to robot. As the character goes through the levels the background scene will use archive images (e.g. Barcelona streets from 1960s). Challenges and objects within each scene will incorporate archive (e.g. the character will wear First World War uniforms taken from a historic photo if jumping through Germany during this time) (Kieran, Casey, Weronike & Nishan, all 13)

A playground designed using images of archive chocolate wrappers! (Mohammad, 14)

Kieran and Casey travelled out to Vienna with our team to present Time Jump to the other Culture Jam teams.

Mena Fombo, our Programme Manager (Young People), said: ‘The Jam was great: there was really a positive energy in the room. Most young people had never heard of archives or prototypes before the event, and by the end of the day most of them had given presentations on their re-use of archive to the whole room. I was astounded by some of the prototypes – young people brought some really innovative, new and exciting ides to the table, and they did it in such a short time – if only we could now make them all!’

Pupils attended the Bristol Jam from the following schools and colleges: Bridge Learning Campus, City Academy, Ashton Park, City of Bristol College and Bristol Steiner School.


Support young people with just a few clicks…

This month please use your clicking fingers for good and support our campaign for Aviva Community Funding.  With just a few clicks you can help us provide an inspiring summer programme for young people in Bristol.

We want to encourage and support more young people to be creative, active members of their communities, and help them to develop new skills they can use both in school and out.

Through ‘Jump Into…’ they will design and create sustainable fashion, build their very own robots, and make jewellery using the latest ‘Maker Lab’ technologies, such as laser cutters.

Registration takes just a few clicks: visit our page and click on ‘Register / Log in’.

When you’ve registered you’ll be given 10 votes: every vote counts, so please show us your support! You can vote until May 31st.

Please share this message with your friends, family and networks and help us secure the funding to provide a fun and accessible programme of arts activities for young people in Bristol.

A big thank you from everyone at Knowle West Media Centre.

Participant Begins Studies At UWE

In January 2015, Sue Henley started a foundation English degree at the University of the West of England (UWE). The course requires basic computer skills, so Sue comes in to Knowle West Media Centre’s Computers for Beginners class on Tuesday mornings where we give her support and encouragement.

We caught up with Sue and asked her a few questions about her experience in our class:

Q: What skills have you learned?
A: When I started this course I was very nervous. I have learned to do word processing and am learning to use images.

Q: What was the best thing about the course?
A: Walking in the door and meeting people that wanted to learn. We get along well as a group and are all at different levels.

We’d like to wish Sue the best of luck with her degree!  If you’re interested in joining the Computers for Beginners class please call our reception on 0117 903 0444 or visit the Events page.

Sue 1

Johnny’s Journey

“My position as ‘Events Intern’ at KWMC has seen me filling a variety of different roles across many different projects. I have been afforded many opportunities in my time at the Media Centre. I have been able to learn extensively, both in areas new to me as well as enhancing my existing skills. Some of the most significant opportunities have been facilitating workshops with older people; applying research skills in new contexts; and having the opportunity to use and build on my photography experience.

KWMC offers young interns the possibility for creativity that I think is difficult to find anywhere else. Though my role didn’t strictly require it, I had many opportunities to be creative, taking thousands of photographs, making films, writing articles, and even busking. Something that really stood out for me is how supportive the environment at KWMC is, how so many are keen to help and pass on skills and how conducive this is to creativity. I have received training in many areas, including film-making and community journalism.

The Media Centre has also exposed me to a field and wider industry in a way that has allowed me gain a much better idea of the kind of roles I would like to take on in the future. I am especially inspired to be involved in local heritage and history projects and institutions in a way that allows me to use my media and events skills. But I’ve also been inspired to take on more creative projects and hope to do a lot more photography and film-making.

Overall working at KWMC is one of the best experiences I have had, not just in terms of a learning and advancement opportunity – I would argue that in this regard it’s probably more useful than an undergraduate degree course – but also in terms of personal fulfilment. I’ve enjoyed working here and have made friends here, relationships that I know will persist beyond my term as Events Intern. I am very grateful to have had this kind of significant and rare opportunity.”

Johnny Dadds was KWMC’s Events Intern from the summer of 2014 until February 2015.

During his time at KWMC Johnny was awarded a bursary from The Centre for Moving Image Research (CMIR) at the University of the West of England (UWE) to make a short film in response to the question ‘is the future green? His film ‘The Waste’ is part of the showreel below:

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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