A one legged table is useless.....add more legs and it will stand on its own.
I have grown up and lived in Camden for over 20 years and been part of a low income family throughout.
Social mobility is a big problem in Camden and the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that counts” is very true.
Having been unemployed on numerous occasions I realise that there are some people who want to work and others who simply do not. The government is so focused on forcing those who don’t want to work into employment that the unemployed people who really do want to work are suffering. They are two very different types of people and refocusing efforts onto those who really want help would be much more productive.
While out of work I always longed for a place where the unemployed and people with free time could come together and just DO something. Flour on its own is useless but if you combine that flour with some eggs, butter and sugar then you can create a wonderful cake. I don’t want a place where people are forced to go otherwise their benefit will be cut, I want a place where people choose to go, a place where people can create. Two young lads who both like football might decide to create a football podcast. A group of people who like cooking might start a blog about healthy eating for people on low budgets. A lady who has been sewing for 30 years might be able to help a young girl who is interested in fashion.
Sometimes just having someone else to do something with is all it takes for an idea to become a reality and who knows, some of these hobbies and projects might actually take off and become real jobs.....or maybe people might just find a new friend that they wouldn’t have otherwise met.
This needs to be a place for everything, where the crazy ideas of Camden Residents are embraced. A place where you can get REAL advice and REAL help no matter what you want to do. If an 18 year old girl says she wants to be an astronaut she won’t be laughed at, where a 40 year old man can say he’s always wanted to be a stripper or a bunch of young people can simply get access to equipment to make a music video.
This would be an amazing tool to help people who are lacking in confidence or feel excluded from society just because their mind is abuzz with creative ideas and therefore struggle to do a ‘normal’ job.
Most people who work in creative industries have been to university yet I cannot think of anyone from Camden who I know that has been to university.....but the bizarre thing is that Camden is known to be one on the most creative places on Earth.....so none of that makes sense! Creativity cannot be taught, university simply tells people HOW to be creative.....and that completely misses the point! What I’m saying is, all these people can create something if they are just given a chance.
Maybe it’s just a random group of Camden Residents putting on a performance of Romeo & Juliet or even an event like ‘Camden’s Got Talent’.
All that’s needed is a venue, some funding for various types of equipment as decided like video cameras, computers and recording equipment and maybe some staff.
Instead of having this as a free for all, I think it should be something that people have to be interviewed for. There could be an open audition every month for new members but once you are accepted you can use the facility as often and for as long as you want. Memberships can also be revoked if a code of conduct is not followed.
Wouldn’t it be great if members of this group were also employees so if they were to make money from their projects they wouldn’t have to worry about registering as self-employed, filling out tax returns and all the other stuff that comes with starting your own business? Maybe a girl sells 5 t-shirts that she has made one week for £10.00 each and all the income tax etc could be handled for her so all she needs to worry about is coming up with some more brilliant t-shirt designs.
If people start coming up with some good stuff maybe we could start up ‘CCTV’ (Camden Community TV), a TV Channel where residents of Camden can create content about anything and everything. Music, films, documentaries, discussion, news, sport, fashion, culture.....ANYTHING!
Just do something!