Staple Hill life on film

PEOPLE in Staple Hill have been learning more about their local community hub thanks to a collaboration between the charity and students from the University of the West of England.

It was early last year that UWE held a pilot project with Quartet’s ProHelp – West of England service to connect their film degree students with a small number of voluntary and community organisations and create ‘modern short form’ films for them to use on social media. 

The pilot went well for those involved and as a result, UWE planned for all fifteen of the film projects for their January 2023 Year One module to be solely for voluntary sector organisations. 

After the Community Hub submitted a bid to be involved, and following dialogue with the students, it was decided to focus on two areas: the location of the Hub and the popular lunch club, which operates on a Monday and Friday.

Producer Emily Tuson said the students got a lot out of the project.

She said: “Filming for the Staple Hill Community Hub was a new experience for me but one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

“As a group we all worked hard to ensure we captured the right shots and told the right story, which is that the lunch club welcomes all.

“The Hub itself is an amazing place, which offers brilliant services.

“The people that go there have interesting stories and love a good chat.

“All the volunteers at the Hub are welcoming and lovely, embracing the cameras in their faces.”

Director Luke Hay said the support they received was invaluable, adding: “Even when we came across technical problems, the Hub were so accommodating, making us feel welcome and sharing with us what they do for the community, which is a beautiful thing.”

Director of photography Jude Drew said: “There was a real warmth when they started telling us some of their stories.”

Both videos were published on the Hub’s Facebook page and have been well received.

One of the key aims was to make people in the community aware of the Hub’s location. It’s well known to be on Nelson Road by those that use it, but both parties felt it was vital to extend that knowledge even wider.

One resident who has lived in the area for 25 years responded to the post by saying they had no idea it was there – well, they certainly do now! 

Lucien Stephens, who oversaw sound design, said the longer they worked at the Hub the more they were drawn into its work, adding: “After visiting a few times and talking to the staff and regulars, we became passionate about making a campaign that would do the Hub and its services justice.

“We really appreciate everything they do for their local community and hope it can continue to grow in the future.”

The Staple Hill Community Hub is located at the bottom of Berkeley House on Nelson Road, BS16 5HS.

It supports people who are most in need, specifically people with learning difficulties, mental health problems, the isolated elderly, the unemployed and anyone else that needs them.

Based on a large estate, they offer a safe environment where people can meet, join in activities, make new friends, and learn new skills.

The lunch club offers good quality food at low cost, and each week’s menu is posted on social media.

You can see the videos made by the UWE students on the Hub’s Facebook page or on the website 

Matthew Pick