One resident showcases community collaboration on film
As part of a storytelling project with Hamlett Films, Bradley Big Local chair Waqas Arshad gives us exclusive insight into a food delivery project he helped set up during lockdown.
Hello Waqas! Let’s start by finding out who you are and why you were interested in this opportunity with Hamlett Films?
Hello, I’m the chair of Bradley Big Local in Nelson, Lancashire. I wanted to make a film to raise awareness of the work we were doing in the community and thought that the Bradley Food2Go project we set up in the first lockdown would be a great way to showcase that.
Tell us a bit more about Bradley Food2Go
We set up Bradley Food2Go to help the community during the pandemic. There were already initiatives in the area that were delivering meals to residents but no one was delivering food on a Friday so we decided to fill that gap.
We already had existing relationships with lots of take-aways in the area and once we had set everything up we were ready to start promoting the scheme. We did this through our Facebook page where we collected names and numbers as well as through the council’s Help Hub. We called everyone to check dietary requirements and how many people were in the household.
We were really pleased to be able to support local businesses during lockdown.
We used Big Local funding to buy the meals which began at 16 in the first week and grew to an average of between 50 and 60 each week. This growth was mostly down to word of mouth. Alongside providing hot meals for local residents, we were really pleased to be able to support local businesses during lockdown and offer meals to local key workers to show our gratitude to them.
Did you have any experience of making films before?
I had none whatsoever so was keen to follow Hamlett Films’ advice closely. I filmed the whole thing on my phone which luckily has a good camera and waited until the weather was good to do the outdoor shots. I learned that a lot of planning has to go into a project like this before you begin filming. I learnt to create a storyboard and timeline of my ideas and wrote the voiceover script in advance.
What’s the main thing you took away from this experience?
It was great to work with a production company like Hamlett Films but it was a shame not to be able to see the editing process first-hand in their studio. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, I’d really like to be able to travel down to the studio for a day to learn more about putting the final piece together.
I learned loads throughout the process and definitely have a new-found appreciation for the importance of giving yourself – and others – enough time to complete things and being flexible when plans change.
And finally, what do you think this film will mean to the community in Bradley?
I think people will be proud to see the way the community pulled together through lockdown. I hope that it will also raise the profile of the work that Bradley Big Local do so that more people get involved. I was conscious of keeping the film short so that as many people as possible would watch it all the way through.
The pandemic has been tough, but it’s important to recognise the people who came together to help friends and neighbours.
We’re planning to share it on our Facebook and some of the businesses involved will also share it on their social media too. The project has been a great chance for local organisations and agencies to collaborate.
The pandemic has been tough but it’s important to recognise the people who really came together to help friends and neighbours get through it and I’m pleased that this film is able to do that.