Case Studies

Give Us A Break – Mayfield School, Whitehaven

Give Us A Break was a film project involving Mayfield School students and the Haltwhistle Film Project. The end result was a short film featuring children and young people from Cumbria who have disabilities.

The production, which took several months to complete, gave the children and young people the chance to show what they like to do in their spare time and during breaks for themselves and their carers. It was part of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme which was given £2.7 million to give a voice to youngsters in Cumbria who have disabilities. There have already been consultations about the sort of short breaks people would like and now pupils have added their voice.

Mayfield School pupil, Tom Wren, said: “It was good. I went into the pool with an underwater camera.”

Fellow pupil, Michael Sessford, said: “The shadow puppets were good.”

Lynne Brownrigg, Headteacher of Mayfield School in Whitehaven, said: “I believe that Haltwhistle Film Project and Prism Arts have achieved the objectives in giving our young people the opportunity to share what they want from short breaks and to present images of young people with a range of disabilities being involved in a range of short break opportunities. The work by the young people at Mayfield School has offered fantastic opportunities based on creative arts enabling young people to explore their creativity, develop self-belief and expression. This has been a very worthwhile project.”

Moira Swann, Corporate Director of Children’s Services with Cumbria County Council, said: “Everyone seems to have had a lot of fun and there are some brilliant ideas about what they’d like short breaks to offer. Many thanks to those who put in so much hard work. We are all very proud of Give Us A Break.”

The film premiered at Theatre by the Lake which included a DVD showing, a live performance and opening and closing addresses from Councillor Anne Burns and Lynne Brownrigg.

In February 2011 the film was nominated for a prestigious Osprey Short Film Award at Keswick Film Festival. The awards celebrate local film making and recognise and reward talented film makers from, or working in, Cumbria.

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