Silent Movie Gives Disabled People A Voice
Thursday 30th September
Move over Charlie Chaplin and make way for the
Bedford & District Cerebral Palsy Society (BDCPS), who recently
showcased their silent movie ‘The Paper Plane Trouble at Ridgeway
School’ to the Aiming High for Disabled Children Steering
The production, filmed at Ridgeway School was
created as part of their ‘Skool’s Out Summer Activity Scheme’ for
young people with disabilities aged 8-19 years.
The silent movie is 30 minutes in duration and
filmed in black and white, to mimic a typical silent movie, from
its original era. The plot is; students at Ridgeway are reprimanded
by their Head teacher for throwing paper planes around in class, so
A4 posters are placed on walls around the school, to inform pupils
of the new rule, ‘No Paper Planes’. In a twist of irony, the
students pull down these posters and make… paper planes out of
them! (much to the annoyance of their Head teacher).
In order to help bring the film to life, the
BDCPS collaborated with freelance artist, Paul Nicholson.
Paul has supported the society for a number of years and had an
understanding of the young people’s capabilities and needs, which
enabled him to get the best out of the cast in terms of outlining
their talent and sense of comedy!
As a local charity, BDCPS need to source
funding to be able to offer such opportunities to their young
people. So, the silent movie proposal was put to Bedford Borough
Council’s ‘Aiming High’ committee, who in return, were keen to fund
it. Aiming High for Disabled Children is a national
government programme which aims to give disabled children more
opportunities to enjoy their leisure time. The programme also works
to give support with childcare for families with disabled children,
improve transition from child to adulthood and give children and
families more say in decision making.
Rose McHugh, Activities Coordinator at BDCPS,
said: “We have been developing art and drama related projects with
our young people for the last few years now, and they prove to be
so popular. The reason for this is that as well as being fun, they
provide scope for creative freedom and expression. A vital
element for us at BDCPS is that those facilitating these projects
allow the young people to lead and direct the projects, it is their
ideas and they have control. This project allows development
of a range of skills - physical, emotional and intellectual, that
can be used in all areas of their life.”
Cllr David Sawyer, portfolio holder for
Children’s Services, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “This
project is evidence that young people with disabilities can follow
their dreams and aspirations. Those involved have produced material
that we can all relate to and enjoy. Any avenue is possible for
these young individuals, and the world of entertainment is no
BDCPS are keen to continue developing creative
opportunities going forward. The charity is currently looking to
source funding for further projects in the pipeline for Easter
2011, as a follow-up to their amazing production of ‘Romeo and
Juliet’, earlier this year.
If you would like more details on how you
could offer your support? Or, perhaps you would like more
information on any up-and-coming productions? Please contact Rose
McHugh on 01234 351759.