Some of our Real Benefits Street Experts got together ahead of the first episode of Channel 4’s Benefits Street to meet each other, and do some media training with Jackie Cox, the Real Benefits Street Co-ordinator.
After an excellent dinner at Luther King House, we all moved to one of the excellent training rooms. On that first evening, we all took part on a storytelling circle as a way of getting to know one another better – only 2 of our real experts had met each other before.
We then looked at some of the films that each of the real experts had made as part of Real Benefits Street. Whilst some of our experts had already done some filming, some of them still had that pleasure to come.
The following morning we held a media workshop. During the workshop we looked at the risks of engaging with the media, the different types of media, what journalists want and then we held some practice interviews covering print, radio and television.
We had invited journalists to join us for lunch but as it was the day after the General Election, we weren’t too surprised to receive a lot of apologies. It just meant we all had more time to get to know one another better.
By the time we left Luther King House on Friday afternoon, all our experts were ready to speak to the media to challenge the stigmatisation of people on benefits.
Jackie is available to come and run a media workshop for organisations that work with people living in poverty or for people living in poverty who want to engage more effectively with the media as a way of challenging negative stereotypes and stigmatisation.
From left to right: Jackie (Real Benefits Street Co-ordinator); Shirley; Rebecca; Rachele;Letitia; Joy; Simon; Lisa; Tanya