The pandemic reminded all of us about the importance of community. In the words of Joni Mitchell, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone".
Working for a public service broadcaster, the interests of the communities I served were always at the front of my mind. Now, I look for opportunities to share my knowledge and skills with organisations that assume professional media production is beyond their budgets.
Bilsthorpe Mining Heritage Museum secured funding from Nottinghamshire County Council to pay for an oral history project capturing the memories of those involved in the coal industry.
There were five interviews in total. The full-length, 90-minute video has been screened at local history events and episodes like the one above are being used by local schools and colleges. The museum plays the audio track to create atmosphere in its exhibition spaces.
The pandemic disrupted traditional events. The Royal British Legion asked me if it was possible to live-stream the 2020 Act of Remembrance from Edwinstowe war memorial. I volunteered to manage the live stream and I made a Facebook page to keep the community updated ahead of the event.
I wanted to make the virtual experience as inclusive as possible, so I published short videos on social media to encourage engagement and connect with vulnerable people and others self-isolating.
I volunteer to work with students at local schools and colleges involved with the BBC Young Reporter programme.
I also work free of charge as a videographer/photographer for the Eco-Schools initiative, which empowers local children and teens to improve the environment. The school where I volunteer has been awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag.
I like to support local businesses wherever I can. A.L. Jewellery started trading in my local craft centre.
The jeweller, Amy, trained in Hatton Garden, and asked for a short video showcasing her skills.
We did a deal – Amy got a video and my wife got a gift!
At Christmas 2020, I teamed up with friends to bring some much-needed festive cheer to our local community. I also volunteered as a reporter and presenter trainer for Bowe Radio, a new community station serving the local area.