JLL and Rugby Portobello Trust Collaborate on Film

15 May 2009

Young ‘Filmies’ Launch Documentary about their Youth Centre

“W11 & Beyond”-A film by young adults about Rugby Portobello Trust in North Kensington

The Junior League of London (JLL) is proud to announce the completion of a film programme and the screening of the final film on 14 May 2009.

Since October 2008, the Junior League of London (JLL) and the Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) have collaborated on a film workshop for young adults, aged 18-25.  Led by local filmmaker Thom Wood of the production company 3angrymen, the programme introduced RPT young people to filmmaking as a process of creative problem solving, project management, and artistic expression.

The result of these weekly Thursday evening classes has been a documentary, “W11 & Beyond – A film about the Rugby Portobello Trust, by the young people of the Rugby Portobello Trust,” created by the young ‘filmies’ about their own experiences.

The film will be screened for a private RPT audience on 14 May 2009, along with another film, “Making Ends Meet,” made by young people in the care of the Independence Support Team from the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Social Services working with Youth Culture TV (YCTV).

Filmmaker Wood, who also works with the Almeida Theatre on a youth programme, said, “From the start of this project, it was clear that whatever story the young people wanted to tell, they wanted to tell it from their perspective and with their voice. What I think really shines through, and that has impressed me throughout the process, is how sincere, eloquent and engaging that voice can be.”

Mary Lehner, a JLL volunteer, has worked with RPT on art-based programmes for the past three years and observed that “The young people were always in control of this project, from choosing a topic and interviewing to filming and making editing decisions, with the expert guidance of professional filmmaker Thom Wood. They should be enormously proud of their work.”

JLL volunteers, who assisted in the teaching, also shared their experiences.  Kristin Rickert, a business consultant, said, “The programme enabled the kids to really open up and share experiences of the centre and its value to them.”  Robin Buck, an educator, added that, “The young people were really engaged. The film project seemed to give them a voice, which may not happen very often for some of them.”  Amy Whitaker, a writer, concurred, “The conversations they had, filmed or not, seemed to change the way they might interact with each other ‘offline’ of our programme too.”

During the same year, JLL launched a pilot “art skills for life” series of workshops at RPT, which used different artistic media to teach the young people life and employment skills.  For example, an actor led a workshop on acting for interview skills.  Other workshops in the series were led by various professional tutors in dance, visual arts, theatre and career development, as well a team of JLL members who served as CV-writing coaches.

RPT Trustee Amanda Cairns commented “As Trustee of the RPT, I would like to say how much we have valued the contribution of Junior League Volunteers to our work with young people this year. They are always positive, looking for potential and giving encouragement.”

The Junior League of London is pleased to continue working with RPT next year by continuing these professional skills workshops in a programme called Running Start.
About the Junior League of London

The Junior League of London is a UK registered charity comprised of women committed to promoting voluntary service, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The Junior League of London works to break the cycle of poverty through education and employment.

A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International and active in London since 1978, the JLL has over 400 volunteer members who provide more than 20,000 hours of service to the community each year through dedicated programmes that support its vision of eliminating poverty and its effects in London. The JLL raises funds through a book for recent arrivals to the capital called Living in London, a holiday shopping bazaar (12-13 November 2009) called Boutique de Noel, a week-long shopping event in the spring (March 2010) called London Spree corporate giving, grants and members’ dues.

To learn more about or donate to the Junior League and its community projects, purchase a copy of Living in London or find out about the JLL’s next New Members’ Course for volunteers – visit or phone the Junior League office on 020 7499 8159.

Registered Charity Number: 1103298   Registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in England No 5045667

About Rugby Portobello Trust    The Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) is a charity that works with young people under the age of 25 in North Kensington, West London.  RPT was formed in 2003 as a merger of three youth-related organisations. The oldest of these three, the Rugby Clubs, was founded in 1884 by an Old Rugbeian, Arthur Walrond, to benefit the poor living in Notting Dale, and was supported by the Rugby School in 1889, when the Headmaster, Dr Percival, decided for the school to undertake social work in an urban area. RPT’s aim is to help these young people, through a wide range of activities and learning programmes, to achieve their personal best, realise their dreams and to grow up to become independent adults who can play a full part in their local communities. To find out more information about RPT, visit