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Archive for March, 2016

Meet a Change Creator: Yelena

Name: Yelena Gregg Weekes
Age: 19
Campaign: Mental Health                                      YELENA

What made you apply to be a Change Creator?
Change Creators is a golden opportunity. I felt it would give me a confidence boost in my self and my creative work. It’s a chance to meet like minded people who are committed and passionate about social and environmental change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I am a part-time nanny, and I love working with kids. I volunteer at BCFM Radio on the Bristol Music Show every Monday. I film music sessions, gigs and events freelance. I write articles for online magazines. I work at Glastonbury and other festivals, I play the guitar and I adore music, film and travelling.

What aspect of Change Creators are you most excited about?
I’m excited to gain better skills and understanding in leadership, sensor technology and working collaboratively with a bunch of young creative people on a project I feel so passionately about.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme?
I see myself having consolidated the skills I would have gained over the programme and found new friends and contacts. I will have contributed to the campaign to the best of my ability and will be looking forward to the future with confidence and achievement!

Twitter @Yelena_Eve

Change Creators: Week Four

The Change Creators met up at Arnolfini on Monday 21st March for a workshop on Practical Project Management, lead by Mena Fombo, KWMC’S Young People’s Programme Manager. Mena introduced different ways to manage time, budget and job roles productively, which the Change Creators could put into practice in delivering their social change campaigns. The evening was also another opportunity for the groups to get together and continue their project planning.

Charlie, Emma, Jay and Mason, who are focusing on food waste, are rethinking their current ideas. They questioned some of their existing ideas about using sensors and are changing their approach. There is still more research and discussion to be had but the group have a plan in place and now have a better idea of what needs to happen next.

Andreea and Ella, who are campaigning to diversify the services that are offered to young people experiencing mental health issues, came up with a range of ideas to help raise awareness of the campaign. They also came up with some creative ways of conducting research that they can then use as part of the campaign. They now have a set plan that they can work from and share with the rest of their group.

Mena Fombo commented “Failing to plan is planning to fail. Practical Project Management is key and I think the team now know that too”

With so much discussion and planning taking place, the evening was really successful for both groups and they are both moving forward with their campaign development.


Meet a Change Creator: Andreea

Name: Andreea Dumitrache
Age: 23                                                                                                                                andreea
Campaign: Mental health

What made you apply to be a Change Creator ?
I applied to become a Change Creator because I really wanted to see how we can use technology to make social change happen. I’m really passionate about youth issues, raising environmental awareness and getting people behind campaigns they really care about.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I work as a marketing and fundraising assistant for Creative Youth Network, a charity that builds relationships with young people from all backgrounds to help them reach their own potential and live fulfilling lives. I’m also a presenter and producer on Ujima Radio 98fm, where I’m part of an amazing team that’s working towards showcasing what young people care about and eliminating misconceptions about young people. Tune in on Tuesdays from 2-4pm and let us know what you think! When I’m not frantically running around The Station (where CYN and Ujima are based), I love traveling and exploring new places and writing about it on my blog, Wander-ful Worlds.

What’s been your favourite part of Change Creators so far?
I’m really loving the process as a whole, especially how well Inspire Week worked. Meeting people who are making social change happen in the city really got me thinking about what I want to achieve. Then getting everyone on the same page, agreeing on what issue to tackle through our campaigns, has been one of the most interesting aspects of a project I’ve even been involved in.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme?
Change Creators is offering me so many opportunities to meet people from organisations in the city and worldwide passionate about the same issues I care about. At the end of the programme, I’d love to continue to work with those people, taking part in new projects that focus on mental health.

Twitter @andreea_journo

Change Creators: Week Three

On Monday 14th March the Change Creators met at Paper Arts in Broadmead, for a workshop led by Justin Ricks, Business Development Manager at KWMC: The Factory. He took the group through five key stages of project management and offered advice and expertise. This helped the Change Creators to identify tasks they still need to complete in the planning of their social change campaigns and see how successful management can benefit a project. Both groups are now well equipped with useful information to work collaboratively to successfully run their campaigns about food waste and mental health.

The group also met with Sam Nwankwo and Ali Rohafza from Altitude Tech, the company that designed the Sensly, a portable pollution sensor capable of detecting the pollution levels in the air. The Change Creators pitched their ideas to Ali and Sam, who then discussed with the Change Creators whether their sensing ideas were viable and if they are likely to work within their campaigns [See their ideas here]. They were also able to offer an insight into creating a device that uses sensors, covering topics such as time, money, planning, preparation and research. This information was highly valuable to the Change Creators and they now have a good idea of the time frame they will be working within.

KWMC’S Young People’s Programme Manager Mena Fombo commented: “Last nights masterclass,  which involved testing some ideas of what’s possible to sense with Altitude was really invaluable for the teams. The expertise which Ali and Sam were able to bring to the table has really opened the doors for the directions of both these campaigns. It was great for everyone in the room to hear ‘yes, this is possible’ in response to some of the sensing ideas.”

The Change Creators will continue to move forward with their planning and research over the coming weeks.


What’s your KWMC story?

In 2016 we’re marking the first 20 years of Knowle West Media Centre.  Over the next few months we’ll be holding a number of special events and exhibitions to celebrate everyone who has been part of the journey, reflect on what we’ve achieved together, and look forward to the next 20 years…

We’d love to hear your thoughts, memories and experiences of working with us.  We’re pulling together a collection of reflections – ’20 Stories for 20 Years’ – and we’d love to include yours.

We’ve noted some short questions below if you’d like to use them, but feel free to write, sing, rap or respond in a different way entirely!

1.  When did you first come to Knowle West Media Centre and what did you do?

2. How do you think KWMC has changed during the time you’ve known us?

3. Has KWMC made a difference to you? (If so, how?)

4. What other difference has KWMC made?

5. What are your favourite KWMC memories?

If you’d like to get involved, please send your responses to Rachel or drop in to KWMC.  The collection will be available on our website and may also appear in print; responses may be edited slightly for length.

If you’d like more details about our plans for 2016 please get in touch. Keep an eye on this page for more details too.

Meet a Change Creator: Jay

Name: Jay Carter-Coles
Age: 20
Campaign: Food Waste                                                 change creators_Jay_B&W

What made you apply to be a Change Creator?
I applied to become a Change Creator because there are so many issues that I feel passionate about, but I never before felt that I had a voice in my community. I saw the advertisement on Twitter and realised it was the perfect opportunity for creative people to create change within society. I was hooked and sent off my application the very same day!

What are you up to when you’re not developing your campaign with Change Creators?
I spend about 30% of my time working as a front of house assistant at a seafood restaurant. The other 70% is spent freelance filmmaking! I have filmed commercials, music videos and events. I also do a lot of work as a production sound recorder.

What aspect of Change Creators are you most excited about?
I am most excited about putting our campaign into action and actually seeing the positive affect that it will have on society.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme?
At the end of the programme I will be writing and producing my own documentaries, aiming to raise awareness of big issues that affect our small blue planet.

If you would like to see Jay’s work you can check out his blog here at      Twitter @jay_c_c

Work with young people and sensing technologies

We’re currently supporting a group of young people to create their own campaigns for social change, using new sensing technologies to tackle issues they’re passionate about.

The Change Creators are aged 18-25 and are keen to hear from technologists, product designers and anyone interested in working with them to develop their two campaigns: diversifying mental health support services, and reducing food waste.

At this stage we are seeking people who are interested in:

• sharing ideas about what we can sense in relation to these issues
• identifying the sensing technologies we could use
• collaborating with the Change Creators to create the sensors

Could you help?

We have a small budget available for resources.  You can view the Change Creators ‘sensor pitch’ videos and see their specific sensing questions on their project page or at

If you’d like to get involved or you’d like more details please e-mail

Change Creators is part of The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing.

Change Creators: Week Two

On Monday 7th March, the Change Creators met at Arup’s Bristol Office to continue with the development of their social change campaign. The group met with Peter Cooper, who is a Consultant and Research Engineer at Arup, and we took the group through Arup’s history and experience in engineering, consulting and project management.

The Change Creators separated into their groups of four and began to finalise their campaign ideas, taking into account time, resources, and whether their aims are achievable and realistic.

Andrea, Chelsea, Ella and Yelena are continuing to focus on services offered to young people dealing with mental health problems. Their aim is to diversify these services. They want to collect data, using brain sensors, that will show how young people feel after different types of therapy or counselling. The group also want to use phone sensors to monitor what the young people do after they have received these different types of therapy. Yelena says that this can help them see if and how art therapy has worked and can also help to identify when people are at risk.

The group working on food waste confirmed that they will be focusing on consumer/citizen food waste. They want to help people understand the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ – as they can be confused as meaning the same thing and people can throw away food that is perfectly fine to eat. Charlie, Emma, Jay and Mason want to show people that they can make meals like soups or smoothies from fruit and veg that is going out of date instead of wasting it and buying more. Another of their ideas is a tupperware that can sense when food is going off, giving people a chance to use the food in time and decreasing the amount being wasted.

The Change Creators then came together to share their new findings and ideas with the rest of the group, providing and receiving feedback and sharing how the two campaigns are developing. Peter also gave some valuable feedback to the groups, highlighting key issues associated with the two topics that are currently on the political agenda.

KWMC’s Young People’s Programme Manager Mena Fombo commented: ‘last night’s session was really positive, and the groups are now beginning to shape their social change campaigns.  There is so much raw passion coming through the group members, I’m excited by the development of both of these projects’.

You can follow the Change Creators workshops live on Twitter at @Change_Creators


Thumbs up: celebrating girls in tech on International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day we’re asking people to give a big thumbs up to girls and women in technology.

This time last year, the Guardian reported that ‘just 27% of those employed in Britain’s digital industries are women’. Statistics updated by the Women’s Engineering Society last month show that although ‘companies are 15% more likely to perform better if they are gender diverse’, only 9% of the engineering workforce is female and only 15.8% of engineering and technology undergraduates in the UK are female.

We want to support more young women to explore STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths) and ensure they are encouraged to pursue their interests, training and opportunities are accessible to them, and that barriers and negative stereotypes are challenged.

On Tuesday 8th March, International Women’s Day 2016, we’re asking people to show their support and give girls and women in technology the thumbs up:

1. Choose a bit of code – such as <> / & or { }
2. Print it on your thumb and pose for the camera (check out the images below for some inspiration)
3. Write your message of support, such as ‘My thumbs up for girls and women in tech’
4. Tag your photo #IWD16 and mention @knowlewestmedia
5. Get sharing!

You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram – we’ll share as many as we can!

If you’d like to know more about our projects for girls and young women please get in touch on 0117 903 0444. We’re currently running #GirlsDoCode, a campaign encouraging girls to try coding in our free after-school sessions, and we’re involved in the Bristol Girls Make It campaign.



Change Creators: Week One

After Inspire week, the Change Creators had the weekend to gather their thoughts and relax after an action-packed five days. They returned to KWMC on Monday 28th February to discuss their ideas further and begin developing their campaigns. In groups of four, they discussed their aims and what they wanted to achieve through their social change campaigns.

The group working on mental health – Ella, Yelena, Andreea and Chelsea – decided that they would focus on diversifying the way young people receive mental health support, as they believe more people would benefit from alternative methods such as art therapy. They want to bring attention to the possibilities for using art therapy or workshops to help people experiencing mental health problems.

Mason, Jay, Charlie and Emma, who are focusing on food waste, found that there were many different layers to the issue. After researching, Mason concluded that there were three important stages: the supplier, the supermarket and the consumer. The group will spend more time exploring these stages in the next few weeks to find a focus for their campaign.

As the groups will be using sensor technologies in their campaign, both groups devised a pitch explaining the sensors they would like to create, the data they would like to collect, and what the information would be used for.Some of their ideas included a wristwatch that sensed emotional activity and a sensor that would record the weight of food waste in a bin.

Over the next few weeks the Change Creators will be gathering feedback about whether their ideas are viable. There is still more planning and research to be done and you can follow the Change Creators’ workshops live on Twitter at @Change_Creators


Contact Us

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

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