We met with our new partners at Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol to find out more about the work the charity does involving young people in the community within creative technologies and the arts! Beccy Thomas, the Head of the Young People’s Programme discusses KWMC and why young people should get involved in activities such as The Future8 Awards.


Beccy, How do you think creativity and technology are linked?
“Without people’s creativity, technology is often just functional and useful – something we don’t really notice. When we explore what technology can do in a different way – how it can make art, or change people’s lives for the better – unexpected things can happen. That’s what we do at KWMC!”


What can people expect when they visit you?
“If you’re visiting KWMC for the first time, you The Living Living Room, KWMCcan expect a friendly welcome from our team – you’ll recognise their faces from our website! You don’t need to have any experience to join in too: we work with complete beginners as well as those with more experience. You can try something new, or tell us what you’re working on and what you need from us to be able to make your project work, whether it’s equipment, space, some tuition or support, or someone else to work with. KWMC also offers exhibitions, performances, and projects for people of all ages, so there’s plenty to get involved in.”


Do you have any stand-out success stories?
“There are so many, but here are a few from this year. In summer 2014 we held XLR, a four-day music festival that celebrated young performers, provided free skills workshops and involved music providers from all over Bristol. David Elliott, also known as Deep, performed at XLR and has been involved with us for many years. He has said of his experiences at KWMC: “They can literally take you from bright-eyed kid who just wants to get into the studio and make some music to semi-professional, on the verge of actually getting your music out there, being sold, and doing shows all over the country.”

At the end of July, we hosted a week of app development as the Bristol centre fYRS Winners, Knowle West Media Centreor Young Rewired State’s Festival of Code 2014. We took six groups of young coders to Plymouth for the celebration event and competition judging. Two of our groups went through to the semi-finals, and the app CityRadar, developed by Chris Chapman and Rhys and Owen Marsh, beat 171 other apps to win the ‘Code a Better Country’ category. There is a big community of support growing around young developers in Bristol and we’re excited to be working closely with employers, the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS), the University of Bristol, and Pervasive Media Studio to support them.”


Why will you be encouraging young people to enter the Future8 awards?
“We’ll be encouraging young people to enter The Future8 Awards so they can gain recognition for their skills and experience. We want to make sure that employers, and others, see what creative young people can achieve, often without formal training or education. Entering an award like this will help you think about how to present your ideas professionally and win support for your creative projects. Getting feedback from a judging panel with such influential people on it will be so valuable. And the prizes are amazing too!”


For more information about Knowle West Media Centre visit or find @knowlewestmedia and @youthprogramme on Twitter.

Be sure to check out The Future8 Awards and the 8 exciting categories! Keep your eyes on for updates on who will win our once-in-lifetime experiences with industry experts.