‘What Makes You Unique?’ A Film About Autism And Volunteering

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Meet Nathan, a young person with autism who has been volunteering at his local church group for the last three years.

We all have something that makes us unique.

We all have something that makes us unique. Whether it’s a hidden talent, a hobby nobody knows about. Whatever it is, it’s always good to celebrate it. So over the course of 12 weeks, Rife Magazine worked alongside a group of young people from The Listening Partnership to create a short documentary film talking about what makes us unique.

Meet Nathan, a young person with autism, who has been volunteering at his local church group for the past three years. He helps run activities, serve meals and talks to members of the group. During the film, you discover some of the incredible work he’s involved in, and you see him engage and facilitate group sessions.

We worked closely with an engaged team of 15 young people who took key roles in set design, writing, and organisation on set. The sessions were initially spent scriptwriting, and the group interviewed each other on what makes them unique.

Through producing this film we learnt the importance of volunteering, and how it’s so key for building skills and confidence in all aspects of life, particularly as a young person. Volunteering has provided Nathan with a sense of belonging to community, and knowing that he’s really made a difference, so it’s definitely worth getting involved in.

We asked Nathan a few questions about his experience:

How was did you find the experience overall?

A bit hard, party because I’ve never been filmed doing it before. But fun at the same time, I’ve worked with film before but this area was new.

What did you enjoy the most?

My favourite bit was getting filmed by Sam, and having myself recorded on sound recorder. It was fun working with Sam, he’s never seen where I work before. It was nice having him there.

Rife team Jasmine and Roseanna worked alongside 8th Sense Media, who produced and edited the film. 8th Sense Media is a creative media production company located in Bristol that create visual content and short films, with the intention of giving a voice to unheard voices. You can also access their training workshops that cover everything from planning, filming, and editing. WECIL is a Bristol-based organisation that grew out of a need for disabled people to manage and run their own services. They work closely with people with physical impairments, mental health disorders and learning difficulties. The Listening Partnership is a part of this organisation.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with a variety of groups and activities going on in Bristol, not just over the summer, but all year round.

Check out the jobs and opportunities page on Rife Guide for info on volunteering

And if you have a disability and are seeking some support, of any kind, contact WECIL for advice, help and mentoring

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.