Youth Empowerment Programme

Positive View Foundation’s unique and highly regarded Youth Empowerment Programme is at the heart of personal development and change for vulnerable 16-25 year olds living on our most challenging estates.

The young people themselves made the decision to use photography and film to transform their lives away from gangs, crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour – towards further education, training and employment.

Photography can be the catalyst for transforming young people’s lives. It crosses cultural and linguistic barriers and can be adapted to all abilities. Thanks to mobile phone cameras, it’s also almost universally accessible.

The aim of the Youth Empowerment Project is not to use photography to create potential professional photographers. Rather it is to nurture the motivation, skills and self-belief that can lead to previously unimagined life changes. A realization that “if I can do this then I can do other things too”.

Each ten-week project is designed for ten young people and takes place on, and off, the participant’s own estate. It is delivered by our philanthropic project tutors and Ambassador Partners, for example: Susan Derges, Alison Jackson, Simon Roberts, and Richard Young - all highly regarded professional photographers.

From the start, participants are encouraged to speak out about their own challenges, concerns and hopes. These are then related to different aspects of the project including working in a group, technical instruction, commitment, concentration, participation, creative expression and presentation skills. Together they contribute to the recognition that change is possible, and for the majority of the young people who complete the project, finding work is their highest priority.