nene local | helen dawson


University of Northampton and The Prince’s Trust deliver Get Started programme to unemployed Northampton youngsters

The University of Northampton has supported The Prince’s Trust to successfully deliver a free 5-day training course on photography, as part of the youth charity’s Get Started programme.


Seventeen unemployed 16-25 year olds from Northampton took part in the course, which covered how to use cameras, take images and process both darkroom and digital photography. The programme aimed to equip the young people with key life skills, including confidence and problem solving, while building their self-esteem and motivation. The facilities of the University of Northampton’s School of The Arts were open to the group, and they experienced excellent tuition from leading lecturers throughout the course.

The young people practiced different photographic techniques and uses, including pin-hole photography, making cyanotypes, street photography and stop-frame animation. Throughout the week the group built up their own individual portfolios to showcase their work. Their images were then exhibited to staff, family and friends with a gallery view on Friday 5 July, where participants were presented with certificates to mark their achievements.

David Benge, Referral Executive for The Prince’s Trust, commented: “The Get Started programme has brought together a mixture of young people; those with mental health challenges, carers – a real range. With youth unemployment still a worry in today’s climate this course has helped give the most disadvantaged young people the skills and confidence to move forward with their lives.”

Dr. Sri-Kartini Leet, Senior Lecturer in Photography commented: “Even though the Get Started with Photography programme only runs for just over a week, there has been a marked difference in the levels of confidence the young people in such a short period of time. They have all been thoroughly engaged and we find it such a fulfilling experience to be able to use photography to motivate others to find their place in society. This is the second successful year of partnership between the photography course and The Prince’s Trust, and we hope the programme will grow in the years to come.”

The Get Started programme inspires the young people to make positive changes in their lives, and The Prince’s Trust offer participants three months support afterwards to help young people move into education, training or employment. The Prince’s Trust helps more than 55,000 disadvantaged young people each year, giving them the confidence and skills to get a job. Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust schemes move into work, training or education.

Feedback from the young people who participated was really positive. One young person said: “Thank you. Everyone has been a real help and pushed us. Thank you to the University for the help and for the cameras they let us use. I really appreciate it.” Another participant said: “The amount of stuff taught to us has been amazing. A lovely and enjoyable experience.”

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