“Twenty five years ago, I was told there are not enough people of colour working in this industry. Twenty five years later I am being told exactly the same thing”
Bob Clarke, CEO & Founder
We’ve come a long way over the years
Bob Clarke, MAMA Youth Project’s founder, wanted to get more ethnic minorities into TV production roles. So in June 2005, Bob advertised for youths with a similar background to his.
Using his own money, Bob funded 16 young disadvantaged adults to produce two editions of the youth magazine show ‘What’s Up’. He then distributed 10,000 DVD copies of the shows free to the youth of London.
For many of those involved in the making of the show, it was a way into the world of television – a place where many have subsequently found good jobs and real satisfaction.
All in all, this confirmed Bob’s resolve to create an organisation dedicated to providing TV production training on an on-going basis.
In May 2007 the MAMA Youth Project became a registered charity and a recognised centre for television production training.
The first funding the MAMA Youth Project received was from Choice FM’s V Project. 25 young adults took part in a two-week workshop and produced a 30-minute episode of ‘What’s Up’. The participants were from four homeless charities, a young offenders unit and an organisation that helped young people excluded from full time education. The show included interviews with Levi Roots and a performance by Purple.
Over the last 4 years 81% of our participants have still been in paid employment or a work placement 6 months after the completion of their course. After our recent Spring 2012 course 91% of the participants found employment or a work placement in a media related environment.
- In October 2013 we got a Highly Commended mention, together with Sky, at the Race for Opportunity Awards.
- In January 2013 we were the winner of Sky’s “Team Believe in Better Awards”, out of 100 applicants.
- MAMA Youth Project has been recognised by the Council of Europe as a top 10 television company in Europe, demonstrating a good initiative and practice towards diversity in media
- Over the last four years over two thirds of our participants have come from BAME backgrounds and over 70% have been unemployed at the start of the course
- BSkyB has become the first broadcast/production company to give financial and pro bono support to MAMA Youth Project
- Our Founder & CEO won the Special Recognition Award at the Cultural Diversity Network Awards held at Channel 4
- MAMA Youth Project receives pro bono support from Hogan Lovells PPL, giving us invaluable legal assistance
- We have built strong relationships with BSkyB, BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Endemol UK, Living Tv, Shed Media, Leopard Films and Hat Trick Productions
- We have built strong relationships with organisations helping young adults such as Social Services, Young Offenders Units, Connexions, Homeless Charities and NEETs