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Three residents from YMCA DownsLink Group’s Foyers took part in this year’s BBC Open Newsroom event. We featured the opportunity in our members’ newsletter in September. Lee Scott, Engagement Coordinator at YMCA Downslink Group, saw the event as a chance for young people from the Foyers to develop their skills and talents. Read Lee’s blog to find out more about their day…

I had an amazing time. I got lots of contacts and feel really inspired. I thought my background would be something that would hold me back. After speaking to people at the BBC I now believe my life experiences enable me to see things differently. Aaron

Left to right: – Aaron, Ria and Pete

On Thursday November 17th three YMCA Downslink Group residents spent the day at Broadcasting House, London to take part in this year’s BBC Open Newsroom event. Ria, Aaron and Peter travelled up first thing, supported by Engagement Coordinators Lee Scott and Kevin Budge.

The three joined a group of around 70 other young people from all walks of life but united in a passion for creativity, news and current affairs. The event, hosted by BBC News anchor woman Jane Hill, consisted of a series of workshops, tutorials, activities and recruitment advice, as well as a chance to get behind the scenes and watch the professionals at work, as they produced live and pre-recorded material for the worldwide broadcaster. Each resident was assigned a different timetable for the day, based on the interests they had expressed when applying to take part in the event.

Ria took part in workshops covering camera techniques and using smartphones to record and edit professional video. Ria also got a chance to get on the controls to record and produce news bulletins that other young people taking part in the day were presenting.

Pete presents the news

Peter joined the production team of “Click” The BBC News technology programme, where they edited a segment of the show demonstrating how virtual technology has been used to support the prosecution of Nazi war criminals stationed at Auschwitz during the Second World War. The technology had used maps and historical data to recreate a virtual model of Auschwitz that was used in evidence to prosecute concentration camp guards (full story here: – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38026007). Pete also took the opportunity to present his own 90 second news update.

Aaron took the opportunity to get involved in journalism workshops, networking and a behind the scenes look at how the Weather is presented, meeting a number of reporters and getting their autographs.

I really enjoyed the day and was impressed by the technology and building. The bit I liked the most was when I learnt how they produced the Click show and how it was put together. It helped me have a better understanding of TV production and how shows are put together, as well as learn how to improve my skills behind the camera. I definitely want to get more into the video production side of things as well as music production.  Pete

Ria and a Dalek

BBC News Anchor, Jane Hill hosting the event



“The day was a huge success, with all three having an amazing and aspirational experience. All have been encouraged to apply for the BBC traineeship programme in the New Year and offers of work experience and further opportunities at the BBC already in the pipeline.” Lee Scott, Engagement Coordinator

Many thanks to Lee Scott from YMCA DownsLink Group for sharing this story with us. The young people accessed this opportunity through our members’ newsletter. You can find out more about membership of the Foyer Federation here or by contacting us on 0207 430 2212.



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