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27th Jun, 2022

Digital media student lands youth support role

AN ‘EXCITED’ digital media production student from Stratford College has secured a job with the charity Lifespace Trust.

Ash Ward, aged 18 from Leamington, is in the second year of their course and was introduced to the charity during lockdown.

The college collaborated with Lifespace Trust to produce six podcasts that would support the mental health of teenagers, with Ash helping with production.

Ash continued to engage with the charity – attending events, becoming a volunteer Youth Leader and attending youth group sessions.

When the paid position as Youth Support Participation Worker came up, Ash jumped at the chance.

They had to interview twice, once with an adult panel and once with a youth panel to secure the position.

Ash said: “The young people have highlighted two main areas for support and that is LGBTQIA+ representation and mental health support.

“I am so excited to bring my passions together: digital media and support for mental health and the LGBTQIA community. I recently came out as non-binary so it’s an important subject for me.

“We are already discussing ideas for putting together a film about young people’s lived experience in these areas.”

Helen Smith, programme co-ordinator at Lifespace Trust said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have Ash on our team, their enthusiasm and values are what really stood out to us, coupled with their skills and knowledge on social media and film making.

“Lifespace is totally committed to being a youth led organisation, which puts young people at the heart of our decision making and values. Ash will bring vibrancy, energy and an insight into the issues which are important to young people right now and be a significant part of the process in enabling their voices to be heard.”

Digital media production lecturer, Sarah Downing said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Ash which is fully deserved.

“They have been enthusiastic about applying for work experience opportunities alongside their studies and it’s brilliant to see that this supported their progression to employment with LifeSpace.”

Ash will be working for the next nine months with the trust and is hoping to continue afterwards.

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