Back at Cavendish

Pete+Tori+Sonas crew


Community TV Trust, in schools and PRUs and workshops for the disabled and marginalised, offers media training & filmmaking, engaging people and young people in open-ended creative work, linking Community to Education.

A regular partner group and client is Cavendish School, a special needs school in Southwark, south London,  for 11-16 year olds referred from London’s boroughs. In late January 2018 CTVT started another project at the school, this time producing a short film about knife crime to be screened at a public event in Peckham in early March. There’s been a sharp rise in knife crime incidents in Southwark across 2017 and residents have come together to discuss what’s happening, share stories, here from those at the ‘coalface’ and explore possible ways forward. The voice of young people is much needed in this conversation.

Since 2014 CTVT has produced a number of film dramas with the students and shot a one-hour documentary, made over the course of a year and premiered in a casino by Leicester Square! Over that year CTVT was delivering filmmaking courses in blocks of ten weeks. The documentary, entitled “It’s A Cavendish Thing”, was built with contributions and input from the students, staff, an educational psychologist, a parent, a former student, a police officer, contains material from the film dramas the students have been making, and a telling sequence from the CCTV system now integral to the running of the school.

Chris Haydon, who founded Community TV Trust in 1999, worked in broadcast TV as a director and producer, learning his trade as a documentary filmmaker on 16mm at Granada TV in Manchester.

The challenge in producing this film was to find a way of telling the whole Cavendish story: life is not straightforward but can be immensely rewarding. Students have difficult lives and often troubled backgrounds. Their behaviour can be very challenging at times. The usual tabloid rush to judge is profoundly unhelpful.

The hope is that “It’s A Cavendish Thing” has found a balance between being respectful and asking the difficult questions.

Chris Haydon
Community TV Trust
07970 970 715