East Surrey young people tap into creative project to express themselves

More than 130 young people took part in a photography project run by Reigate and Redhill YMCA recently, focusing on enabling them to express themselves.

The Express Yourself creative media project was run by the charity's youth services team and centred on the young people taking part developing their skills in the areas of film making, photography, animation and graphic design.

The results of the project were put on show in exhibitions at Dorking Halls and at the YMCA’s Live SMART Shop in the Belfry shopping centre, Redhill.

Guests were invited to ‘an evening of inspiration,’ where they could meet the photographers and discover the thought processes behind some of their most creative artwork.

Sam Tamplin, 15, who took part in the project through Harry’s Youth Centre in Oxted, has had one of his photographs entered into the Reigate Photographic Society’s Annual Young Photographer Competition this autumn.

Sam, who is a pupil at Oxted County School and has Asperger’s Syndrome, said: “I found the course challenging but really inspiring, and it was great to do something completely new.”

Referring to his creation of a comic strip, he said: “It was pretty fun.

“I’m a humorous person so the thought of making a comic strip really appealed to me.”

Most of the young people who took part in the project, which was funded by Total Gas and Power in Redhill, had no previous photographic experience.

They attended a variety of ‘Express Yourself’ courses held in schools and youth centres across East Surrey. Stuart Kingsley, 45, the YMCA’s youth work manager, said: “This is all about celebrating the successes of these young people.

“They have produced some great work - the photography is amazing.

“We want to continue to run the ‘Express Yourself’ project and would love to produce another exhibition in the future.”

YMCA Young East Surrey carries out youth projects through centres including The Bridge Youth Centre in Leatherhead, Ashtead Youth Centre and The Malthouse Centre, Dorking.

For more information on Young East Surrey, or any of their youth projects, visit the charity's website at: www.ymcaredhill.com or call 01737 222859.

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