On the 5th February 2005 a group of inexperienced digital camera owners came together for the first time on Gateshead High Street.

The idea was to tell their own personal story of Gateshead using digital cameras.

They documented the following themes:

1) places of power and responsibility 2) places of sadness and pain 3) places of work and leisure 4) places of learning and healing

A lap top was available to view and share their finished work. Participants were really suprised by the high quality of their pictures - People were saying it made them more aware of Gateshead town centre, "it was like seeing Gateshead through fresh eyes." This motivated people to look harder at things they usually ignored or took for granted.

After the day there was a lot of interest in starting up something more regular. Arts Chaplain, Jim Craig, based in Bensham, Gateshead will be organising further workshops with the emphasis firmly on improving peoples confidence in taking pictures, getting more out of their digital cameras, and sharing the pictures they've taken. The workshops will cater for people with all levels of ability. The idea is to look at their surroundings with fresh eyes, and increase their sense of pride in their community.

There are lots of things to be proud of in Gateshead. The project aims to increase peoples sense of pride in the areas they live in. The group will exhibit their photography in a local venue. The first meeting for the new sessions are 4th April 2005 at the Trinity Centre - next to St. Edmunds Chapel on Gateshead High St., everyone is welcome.

For more information please contact Jim Craig: Telephone: 0191 4998057 email: rev.jim@btopenworld.com

_____ MPH Download this file to view a flash file logo Chris Griffiths made. Chris volunteers with Gateshead Community Reporting Unit twice a week. He has learnt how to edit video footage and edit audio. He created this Flash file during some informal Flash training carried out at Gateshead Community Reporting Units Drop In. Download file

Click on the links below to hear Alan Matthews, the Director of MPH Productions talk about how his company fits into the Testbed Learning Communities Project.

MP3 Audio Links Audio Link 1 "Why MPH is a Learning Community and why they have to teach their staff disability issues" Download file

Audio Link 2 "Why it benefits companies to be a Learning Community." Download file

Audio Link 3 "Integrating the training of business's, customers, government, and MPH staff to ensure a holistic approach is adopted." Download file

Audio Link 4 "The MPH vision for the future of education" Download file ____

Here's some information for students from Heworth Grange School involved in the Testbed Learning Communities Project.

It outlines how the Reporting Unit would approach the work: Download file

The Approach � Why? Who? Where? When? Why are you involved? � Your motivation

Background Gateshead has been chosen by the Government as one of four best practice learning communities in the UK . This is part of the Governments 21 st Century Skills initiative. It is an important project � Government ministers will be looking at the information you have collected and using this to make decisions about the future of Learning Communities in Gateshead.

Motivation Ok so I'm involved in an "important project"� What else am I going to get out of it? ...



Do you understand the project you are involved in?

You need to know this to effectively communicate with people taking part in it and people you are going to be interviewing.

If you're pulling a blank at this point and your answer is no then talk it through with other members of your group, teacher, Ben.

What information do you need to collect?


Where is the information going?

Can you do any research into your chosen �learning community' ? Is there any information about them on the web? In the library?

Where is the �learning community' based?

How are you going to get there?


Roles � who is going to do what?

Will one person ask the questions, while the other operates equipment? You decide.

How are you going to present the information?

Thinking about this in advance lets you plan what you need to collect.

_____ 20/09/04 My name is Luke Griffiths and I am a student from Emmanuel College volunteering at the Gateshed Community Reporting Unit based at GVOC.

I have interests in multimedia, music and modern technology and this fits in perfectly with this workplace. I have been working along side Ben Freeth, community media worker to produce flash animations, edit websites and make a laminated teaching handout for digital cameras, I had made an appointment to speak to Allan Mathews the managing director of a company called MPH for the Gateshead Test bed Learning Community (TLC) Project and this all on my first day!

Here is some background to the TLC Project. Gateshead has been nominated by Government Office North East to be a Testbed Learning Community (TLC). TLCs demonstrate how communities and individuals develop through learning and share that good practice nationally. Gateshead is probably not a single learning community but comprises hundreds of learning communities defined by geographical locations, common interests, common needs or working environments.

Gateshead Community Reporting Unit in partnership with Gateshead Council and Heworth Grange Secondary School are working to create a snapshot of all the diverse learning communities in Gateshead.

21/09/04 Today we went to the preparations for the �Hands Together For Mental Health�. I interviewed some of the people who were there included Nitin Shukla the council�s representative and the event Organiser Rosie Dalton-Lucas from Gateshead Primary Care Trust. We recorded sound-bites, using an MP3 Juke-Box and took digital pictures on the digital cameras that will be loaded onto the Gateshead Grid for Learning website.

22/09/04 On Monday I had made an appointment to speak to Allan Mathews the managing director of a company called MPH that specialises in producing accessible media. Today we went to see him and he gave us a tour of the building. After the tour he told us more about the company and the scale of the operation. We then recorded an interview with him using an MP3 Juke-Box. We asked him what he thought a learning community was, and whether MPH was a learning community. This was for the Testbed Learning Community Project. We were invited back to view the recording of a DVD which involved adding sign language to make it accessible to a deaf audience who understand British Sign Language (BSL). During this recording we would be able to take digital photographs to illustrate what MPH do. We thought that the hand gestures used in Sign Language would be strong symbols representing the MPH Philosophy.

23/09/01 Today I wrote a report about the preparations for the hands together for mental health day that we went to on Tuesday. I also made a flash animation using pictures to illustrate the day. We uploaded the flash animation and the report onto the Gateshead grid for learning which is a way to put information onto the internet quickly, this is very new technology and many journalists use it now.

I play guitar and am very interested in music. My favourite musician is Joe Satriani a guitar virtuoso. I used the music sequencing computer program Cubasis to try and create some royalty free music to use on flash videos and presentations. In the afternoon I made an appointment to go to the sound rooms live radio broadcast next Wednesday evening on City FM. I also made a CD face graphic for the Voice of the Learner project CD ROM. http://www.gatesheadgrid.org http://www.gatesheadgrid.org/testbed/archives/cat_gateshead_community_reporting_unit.html