Parkway Parent and Child Project, based in St Werburghs, Bristol, is an informal Family Support Centre. It has been an integral part of the local community for over thirty years, providing parents, carers and children under five years old in this culturally diverse area of Bristol with a safe and stimulating environment in which to learn and play. There are Parent and Toddler “drop in” groups, a Créche, a Two’s Group and a Playgroup, and there is one to one support to enable children with disabilities and additional needs to be included.
Parkway Parent and Child Project aims “to contribute to the social, emotional and educational well-being of all children aged 0-5 years, by providing a range of services tailored to meet their needs and by supporting their parents and carers in Inner City Bristol.”
Parkway Project aims to empower parents through participation at all levels, from sharing their child’s progress, to joining the Management Committee. There is a busy programme of informal learning opportunities and social activities that parents and carers are encouraged to take part in.
About the photography
Neighbourhood is a photography project that started as a short course during summer 2002. A small group of parents whose children use the créche at Parkway met with a tutor over a number of weeks to learn more about photography, to increase understanding of camera controls and photographic processes, to enhance visual awareness through discussing their own and other photographers’ work and to evaluate their photography on an ongoing basis.
By popular demand the course was continued through winter 2002 into new year 2003. During this time participants were able to use a black and white darkroom a couple of times, with the help of a tutor. However, most of the photography was carried out in colour, so that film could be processed cheaply and quickly.
Two exhibitions of the photography produced were mounted at Watershed; the online gallery published here has brought these together in more permanent form.
About the participants
“I've done every craft you can
think of - knitting, crocheting, mosaic, ceramics, rug making, embroidery, paper maché, patchwork, sometimes teaching myself out of books, but the photography was different, because of the Watershed.
It was really strange after just a little course to actually put a show together - really nice. It’s all very well to make the work but who gets to see it?”
“I had such a shit time at college it knocked all the confidence out of me. That was in ’89 and although I never touched or made anything since then, I still noticed and appreciated form, colour, composition, texture and all the things I was taught to appreciate. Now I can look at things and wonder if it would make a good photo, before I’d wonder if it would make a good cup or sculpture.
I'm still going round assessing things but now I've got a means of channelling it. Photography has helped me reclaim a corner of my life.”
”That photography course helped me get my new job - they were really impressed at the interview when I told them about it.
One of the things I do is to take photos of people in meetings and try to make it look interesting!“
”The Parkway Parent and Child Project is a real lifeline - through courses and projects like this one we can be adult again.“
Parkway Parent and Child Project is supported by Children in Need, the Community Fund, the New Opportunities Fund, and Bristol City Council Community Education. The photography project was funded through the Widening Participation Fund.
Terryl Bacon - Project Tutor and Neighbourhood Resource Creator
Chris Waller - Project Tutor
Sally Gamble - Parkway Parent / Carer Coordinator
Watershed Learning staff.
Parkway Parent and Child Project also acknowledges support from:
Bristol Municipal Charities
Esmé Fairburn Foundation
Greater Bristol Foundation
Lloyds TSB Foundation
Methodist Church Multiracial Project Fund
St Paul's Vestry
Urban Key Fund