Category Archives: Stephen

Hackney Laces

Pic: Courtesy of Hackney Laces.

Pic: Courtesy of Hackney Laces.

You don’t have to be good at it – all ages and abilities are welcome. Enthusiasm is all they’re after. Hackney Laces is a football club for girls who just want to play football.

Every Tuesday evening at the Stoke Newington School and Thursday evenings at Haggerston Park Astro, dozens of young women meet to play the beautiful game. It started in 2011 as a place for girls and women in the community to come and play football; there just wasn’t enough opportunities for them. It now has teams for the under 14s, under 16s and the over 16s. Continue reading

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Filed under Features, John W, Stephen

Week 5: Feature articles & photography

Pic: Stephen Archer. John interviewing Jessica Lamond from Hackney Laces.

Pic: Stephen Archer. John interviewing Jessica Lamond from Hackney Laces.

The Big Issue Online Journalist course welcomed guest tutor, award winning journalist and Pulitzer prize nominee Veronique Mistiaen – a freelance journalist who writes a regular blog about human rights, which you can access here

Veronique talked to us about feature writing and how pictures and words can work together to provide in-depth, engaging content. The five W’s of who, what, where, when, why provide a question format for interviews. My background is teaching English as a foreign language so I have plenty experience of writing but it’s the photography that is a completely new challenge to me.

We were set a practical assignment, which involved travelling to Soho to interview Jess Lamond, a player and trainer with women’s football team, the Hackney Laces. I was working with John Watts, another trainee on the journalism course who was tasked with the writing. I was given the role of photographer. The tutor accompanying us was Rob Johns, who is a professional photographer and also teaches photography. You can see his work here

John has a background in screenwriting and knew the area well from his experience in the film industry. We arrived on time, which is always a good start for any appointment. Jess showed us to the room which was all white with large windows to one side.

My thoughts were focussed on a need to return a professional outcome. In my experience trepidation is cured by being organised. Rob had already thought about the light and asked Jess if she would be happy to sit with a clutter free background with plenty of light. John started the interview, making notes and used my smartphone for recording.

Rob helped me tremendously throughout. I thought I would just take pictures at the end but Rob told me to shoot throughout the interview to get a wide variety of photos and encouraged me to continue shooting even when I thought I had taken enough.

Taking a picture with Rob is about thinking about the light and composition and getting as much variety as possible during the interview. I found myself encouraged to capture different pictures and angles. It became easier in the time we had. Manual mode allows for individual adjustments. Automatic options do free the photographer up but cameras have their limitations. With action photos especially there is little time to stop to make changes. Once being given a free rein l began enjoying the opportunity to make a positive contribution to The Big Issue Online Journalists Course.

Back in the classroom John wrote the report and Rob showed me how to upload pictures to a computer and how to make adjustments like cropping using Photoshop. My skills are improving with a better understanding of how to take effective pictures.

You can see John’s article with my pictures on this blog.

Many thanks to everyone.

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Filed under John W, Stephen, Trainees blog

Week 2: The Old Dalston Police Station

Exterior of former Police Station on Dalston Lane Hackney currently a hostel.

Exterior of former Police Station on Dalston Lane Hackney currently a hostel.

Inside of the old Dalston Police Station now a homeless hostel

Inside of the old Dalston Police Station now a homeless hostel

A side view if the stairwell inside of the former Dalston Police Station. Hackney

A side view if the stairwell inside of the former Dalston Police Station. Hackney

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Filed under Catherine, John W, Stephen, Trainees blog

Enterprise helps SMEs & unemployed pull themselves up by the Bootstrap

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While Dalston in east London has seen a huge investment and regeneration programme in recent years it has made it difficult for social enterprises and creatives to find affordable space to rent.

Fortunately long-running social enterprise Bootstrap is set-up to do just that. Founded in 1977 as a training and enterprise organisation the company has gone on to support and nurture charities, social enterprises small creative businesses based in and serving the community.

Poorly funded organisations such as Action for Children, the Latin American Women’s Refuge and the Refugee Women’s Association have all benefited from affordable space in an otherwise unaffordable area where not everyone has benefited from the influx of money and promises of social mobility.

Fiona Evans, who works with Action for Children, said: “Bootstrap enables us to reach local children who need our help, whether they are young carers, have Mental Health issues, as well as those who have trouble integrating at school or into the community.”

While funding by local government has been severely cut in recent years charitable organisations have had to learn to market themselves in recent years and so visits from Body Shop founder Anita Roddick and actor Eva Longoria have helped get the publicity they need as well as a moral boost.

However Bootstrap has not forgotten its roots of helping train and support young people into employment.

Damion Thomas

Damion Thomas

Damion Thomas, who works at Bootstrap, was long term unemployed before he became their receptionist and he believes he would have found work a lot quicker had he learnt about Bootstraps intern programme, he said.

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Filed under Anil, Stephen, Trainees blog

Social Enterprise Big Give Away

Big Issue Invest (BII), an independent subsidiary of the Big Issue, have made available £20 million to help grow social enterprise and social investment. Grants and loans from £50,000 to £1 million were made available. On the 16th October 2013 BII won the Charity Times Awards at Londons Lacaster Hotel. Nigel Kershaw, Chief Executive of BII said “We are extremely proud to be named social champion at these awards.” So far 160 Social Enterprises have received £20 million in funds. Social Enterprises are not for profit and re-invest all profits.

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Filed under André, Stephen, Trainees blog