In our next Spotlight interview, we chat to Peter Snelling, the founder of My Pockets to discuss how he creates opportunities for people of all ages, and various backgrounds and abilities in media and the arts.
What’s your mission statement?
I run My Pockets. We are an arts organisation working with marginalised or disadvantaged people giving them creative skills to tell their own stories. We often work with children and teenagers but have also made films, music and art with people in hospital, prison, people on the transplant list, teens in Tottenham after the 2012 riots, travellers and disabled people.
How has the concept developed over time?
When we started we used to have a fantastic time making the projects, with everyone laughing and joking all the time, but end up producing quite serious films. We then realised that it wasn’t truthful to always be showing the serious side of the people we worked with so we started to make projects that were as funny, unique and idiosyncratic as they are. Fuzzfeed, a series of puppet films we made for Hull 2017 are a great example of this: http://www.mypockets.co.uk/
What have been some highlights with the project, in particular any work promoting disability awareness (and/or mental health awareness)?
All of our projects have positive impact on peoples mental health. I think being creative, expressing yourself and telling your story can have a profound impact on people. It is something that we should all celebrate and nurture in ourselves. It makes you feel better. We also work on lots of projects that bring disabled and non disabled people together, we have made printing projects with deaf children that documented their hopes and fears, alongside hearing kids and an animation with young people with learning disabilities that led to them winning a BFI First Light Award for best animation.