Thursday, 24 September 2009

Budding movie-makers learn tricks of the trade

Budding young movie-makers and music producers are following in the footsteps of Stephen Spielberg and Mark Ronson right here in Swansea.

Figures from Info-Nation's annual report show over 220 young people are now registered users of their Digilab project- a scheme that provides access to a range of digital media opportunities and film-making.

Info-Nation is based on The Kingsway in Swansea city centre and offers an information, advice and support service for young people aged between 11 and 25 on issues such as health, education and money.

The service is part of Swansea Council's Community Regeneration Unit and latest statistics show staff and volunteers there had over 24,000 face-to-face contacts with young people from April 2008 to March 2009.

The figures also show the hours of a health clinic run by Info-Nation in partnership with the local NHS Trust and the National Public Health Service were extended to cater for more queries and that close to 1,000 young people are registered users of Surf-s Up- a scheme that offers free access to computers and the internet.

Cllr Alan Robinson, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Community Regeneration, said: "It's very encouraging to see so many young people accessing Info-Nation's services.

"The service is a vital source of information that empowers thousands of 11 to 25-year-olds to make informed decisions about the lives they choose to live.

"The number of services available to young people has grown in the last 12 months and credit must go to the staff and volunteers at Info-Nation for the success."

Two of the new services to have been introduced over the past year are a weekly Careers Wales drop-in session and Reduce Abuse in Youth (RAY)- a project offering advice and support to young people experiencing abuse either at home or in their personal relationships.

The Info-Nation team also provides workshops and training in schools and youth clubs throughout the city on subjects such as contraception and alcohol.

Figures show over 130 hours of workshops were held in schools and community venues in the past year and that the service maintains 34 community youth information boards throughout Swansea.

Close to 75 per cent of the young people engaging with Info-Nation were aged between 14 and 19 and a social networking site set up by the service now benefits from over 100 members.

Cllr Robinson said: "Over half the young people who use the facilities at the centre come from communities of disadvantage so it's heartening to see that Info-Nation is becoming an important part of their lives.

"I'm sure that staff and volunteers at Info-Nation will not be resting on their laurels despite these fine figures and this is why thousands more young people will benefit from their expertise and advice in the weeks, months and years to come."

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