Did it work? Has their view of Britain changed…?

It feels wonderfully strange to be writing this from the comfort of my own sofa. The Offscreen Expedition touched down back in London earlier today after an epic two weeks of challenges, late nights, early mornings, excitement, bewilderment and general all round brilliance.

The whole experience draws to a close tomorrow, so today was spent in serious reflection mode. It was a little emotional taking the guys aside for their last interviews as they opened up about their experiences, how their attitudes towards Britain have changed and what difference it will all make to their lives back home.

Hats off to Stephen, JamieSarah and the rest of the team for putting together such a life changing experience, I honestly feel that these 12 young people will never forget the adventures and friendships that they have forged here.

But it’s not over yet! Bold will be spending the next few months assembling the media we have created and turning it into some of the most outstanding teachers resources in the UK. There’s another BAFTA with our name on it waiting next year! And of course, there’s the trip to Pakistan yet – click here to be in with a chance of touching down with us in Lahore in September.

Right, final day tomorrow – last film to edit, helping the kids make artwork, then the grand celebration to top it all off. And then sleep…

GV

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I can’t make a difference – can I?

Apparently you can, if you want it enough. Second part of the challenge today, and the guys started in a local church which is being restored as a way of driving engagement with the local community, widening it’s Christian roots to encourage communal use by young people from any background. Apparently the windows are worth £ millon quid.

Really refreshing to see a group of Muslim young people exploring a Christian church, kind of sums up much of what the project is about.

And then to prove that if you put your mind to it you can do anything, the guys were challenged with making something to help Jamie kick back and relax using nothing but newspaper and cable ties. As tempting as it must have been to make a little hobo shelter in the corner of the room, the guys rose to the challenge and made not one but four outstanding chairs. Amazing what you can do with newspaper and a little imagination. Check out the film to see how many of them succeeded.

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Should business help society?

Ah, they’ll be alright with the camera won’t they? It’s Dana’s turn to be Greg today as we head from the Yorkshire Dales back down into the city – Birmingham this time.

Clearly 3 hours in a minibus is exceptionally arduas and requires a bucketload of sugar and caffeine to get through it. Farhad can’t get enough of the stuff – he’s spent about £100 so far on energy drinks and you can tell, he’s bouncing off the walls! Red Bull…

We’re staying at Woodbrooke Quaker House in Selly Oak. It used to be Cadbury’s home (as in the chocolate) and now serves as a bit of a retreat centre. Tony’s a bit suspicious but it’s got a really calm vibe about it. I’m going to try and drag him along to one of the meditation classes later.

And how does all this relate to business and society? Well, to be honest it’s a been a bit off topic today. We visited a disused building where Abbas, a local architect ran a great workshop that involved making lots of pyramids out of sticks. I think we’re going to be going into it more tomorrow, but I’ll be interested to find out what the young people take away from it. Do they think business can be good? I know that’s our vision for Bold. Film is being cut now – check it out for an answer.

GV

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Faith(less?)

What a happy bunch of young people! Clearly they can’t wait to get into The National Media Museum in Bradford. The taste of Yorkshire country air has stirred something in their souls and they’re bouncing off the walls! It’s an animation workshop today that explores the idea of Faith (I wonder if they have seen Bold’s film ‘Faith In The City‘?).

Whoa Ali – was it really that bad? So it didn’t quite hit the mark on exploration of faith, but the guys did manage to make some quirky stop-motion animations. Check out the project website to watch them in all their glory.

Seriously – I haven’t seen these guys so animated since they got here. We all had a bit of a heart to heart this evening, some honest feedback from the whole group – highlighted a few areas where we’ve gone astray, then a big culturally sensitive group hug and gee up for the last few days. It was great seeing everyone’s reactions as they watched a few of the films made so far. I’m really proud of everyone for being so honest on camera – I hope it shows.

And then they tried to make Tony and me dance to bhangra… not a pretty sight, especially as it’s been an alcohol free expedition. Off to Birmingham tomorrow to stay in a Quaker House, should be interesting…

GV

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Blood, sweat and tears

Off up the Yorkshire Dales today, a splendid way to spend a Monday afternoon, and not a single odd look from the seasoned locals, even though we had 12 Pakistani young people in tow. Multiculturalism alive and well in the heart of Yorkshire!

It was fair schock for some of these guys, it’s 50 degrees plus back home and a walk generally gets you from the air con home to the air con car to the air con wherever you’re going. I’d fully expected a tantrum or two on the way, but to their credit everyone worked really hard and although we were all knackered by the end, smiles prevailed.

Gratuitous action shot – 100% necessary to get into the river : )

Tony feeling fitter than he’s ever been stops to admire the view with Reem and Jenna.

What a pro – walk bagged, edit started…

GV

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A life changing adventure for 12

young people from the Middle East

to the UK


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