Image: PhotoClub and Photography is Fun after-school clubs, courtesy Digital Voice.
The Raising Films Ribbon has been awarded to Digital Voice following an application from Victoria Nunn (who previously worked at Bridge and Tunnel Productions – another Ribbon awardee).
A not-for-profit social enterprise based in the North East, Digital Voice has delivered digital inclusion projects nationally and internationally for more than a decade. The team at Digital Voice works with participants often excluded from digital media, helping individuals and communities to gain a wide range of benefits, including the sharing of stories, developing key skills, and improving self-esteem.
Digital Voice designs projects for a wide range of groups and the team has specific skills to deliver integrated intergenerational schemes and to work with adults with learning disabilities, older people and vulnerable adults.
The key areas of activity that Digital Voices were awarded the Ribbon for are:
- Focusing on building the infrastructure to better support parents/carers working in film and TV.
- Offering flexible working/job-sharing as standard.
- Building awareness of the needs of parents and carers working in film and TV.
- Striving towards the change of established industry norms and embedded workplace culture.
Victoria explains more about the culture at Digital Voice, “I’m a mum of four and relatively new to the organisation. I work 24 hours a week, freelance and from home while I’ve been home-schooling. I wanted to nominate Digital Voice due to the flexibility and warmth that has been extended to me as a parent, and the associated freedom and support I’ve received that has enabled me to fulfil my role despite difficult lockdown circumstances.”
Positive communication, flexibility and teamwork
Victoria acknowledges a number of examples where Digital Voice has gone above and beyond to support her as a parent:
“I was asked to co-facilitate a care leaver’s course, designing animations with young people using their own avatars on a Tuesday evening, it was very clearly stated that if I couldn’t this would in no way be a problem. I accepted as my partner was available for childcare, however several times my children interrupted sessions and disrupted the flow of my work. This was never seen as a problem. I was always reassured that the team is behind me and understood and that I am always free to mute and hand over the session whenever I am needed at home. I know the other facilitator is also a parent and has had the same care and flexibility as a dad as I have as I mum, I feel there is no culture of sexism at Digital Voice when it comes to parenting, instead the focus is on providing the sessions to young people to the best of our abilities through positive communication, flexibility and teamwork.
Digital Voice places importance on putting family wellbeing first and empowering staff to manage their time; working flexibility when home life places additional demands on time and to make up hours when convenient around family and caring commitments.
The team at Digital Voice has weekly wellbeing catch-ups where everyone is supported to share any issues they are having balancing work around what’s happening in their personal and home lives. Recent catch-ups have focused on teambuilding and positivity, led by a specialist facilitator, where the team were encouraged to share the challenges posed by raising families in a pandemic and to share their own strategies for working and self care during these difficult circumstances.
The positive impact of the work culture Digital Voice has developed to support parents and carers and the team as a whole is really clear, as Victoria acknowledges, “As parent of four with all the recent home schooling in addition to supporting the wellbeing of one of my children who is having mental health issues it’s been a breath of fresh air to work in such an accepting and supportive environment.”
Image info: Digital Voice works with community groups and children with their parents, helping them learn about creative digital media together in a fun, informal environment. PhotoClub and the Photography is Fun after-school clubs are inclusive and accessible. Families work on projects together, leading towards an exhibition of their work.
Find out more about the work of Digital Voice
Watch some of the work of Digital Voice on YouTube