Vale of Camelot community spirit to be celebrated after lottery funding

Thanks to the support of South Somerset District Council's Arts Development Service, Tea Room Arts in South Cadbury will be the recipient of almost £10,000 of lottery funding from Awards for All.

The lottery funding will help to deliver a project that will celebrate community spirit in the Vale of Camelot.

From its base in Chapel Cross Tea Rooms, Tea Room Arts hosted a short series of community workshops in the basic use of digital equipment. Somerset Film, an organisation that provides media training for community groups, ran the sessions; this has stimulated a desire to do a more focused programme, to include more in depth training and to create a project that celebrates the Camelot area.

Rose Adams, Chairman of Tea Room Arts said, "We want to use digital technology to capture the spirit of community in the villages of Camelot, to give voice to the isolated, encourage dialogue, raise aspiration and promote cohesion and tolerance across the generations.

"We would like to engage professional support and additional resources from Somerset Film to train a group of volunteers, to help them, through sound recording, film and photography, document and present the stories of all our community groups and activities. With constructive mentoring, we would like to collate the visual and audio information and create a touring exhibition that shows the Pride of Camelot! This will be shown at various events, in village halls, schools and other spaces where local people will be invited to share the celebration of our diverse community."

Tea Room Arts recently set up the Holman Hub digital media centre, using a range of computers, film and photography equipment that they inherited. Some of it quite old so the  funding will help to buy some more up to date equipment and to provide training local people in its use. The first two training sessions are on Thursday 25 October (7:00pm to 9:00pm) and Saturday 24 November (10:00am to 1:00pm). For further information email tearoomarts@gmail.com.

Representatives from community groups from the cluster of ten parishes that make up Camelot have already indicated that they are very keen to be involved. The varied range of community groups and societies, schools and churches will be invited to engage, as participants, trainees or potential audiences for an exhibition that will tour the area next autumn.

Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture at South Somerset District Council said, "Receiving a £10,000 lottery funding is a great achievement and will help to deliver a project that will engage with many groups from several different communities in the Camelot area. It will also help to update some old equipment which will enable users to use more modern technology to produce better quality digital media. This funding would not have been possible if it wasn't for the support of SSDC's Arts Development Service and I wish everyone involved all the best on this project."

South Somerset District Council's Arts Development will contribute an additional £1,000 to the project, to ensure that as a legacy of the project, there will be an improved digital production facility for the community to use and a body of well-trained individuals who, in addition to improving their own skills, will be able to support other people to use the equipment.

Capturing Camelot Image

Above: Participants at a Somerset Film digital workshop at the Holman Hub, Chapel Cross Tea Rooms