10 Aug 2022

Being a Production Assistant for IJP and MHMPU

My experience with IJP

As a film production assistant operating in a prison for Mindsworth Media in HMP Wandsworth (previously MHMPU – Mental Health Media Production Unit), I get up to more than I thought! I’ve learned a lot about prison regimes and more about the lives of prisoners and officers. A big part of my role is networking and actioning. There is a lot of admin work and liaising with different people as it’s important to keep on top of schedules, notes and all the planning that goes into workshops, charity communications, and film production.

Being a production assistant to me means being as versatile as possible. One day you could be conducting workshops, the next you’re setting up for filming. It has made me feel much more competent at holding various tasks in short spaces of time. It feeds my drive to keep busy and my need to stay creative and thinking outside of the box! I’ve now been with IJP since Jan 2020… so, almost 12 months! The time truly flies when you’re having fun and whilst not all the work we do is fun per say, it’s certainly rewarding and impactful to say the least.

My work with IJP and MHMPU

I am also a project manager for Greater London Authority’s Peer Outreach Team. I thrive off being a voice for the voiceless and IJP is enabling me to do this on a much larger scale. My favourite part about working with IJP is being able to complement the work we do within the GLA and vice versa. I personally think it’s important that more co-created work is produced and that more young people, especially from marginalised backgrounds, are given a chance to voice their opinions and be as creative as they wish. The team building and work we do is great, not to mention the networking opportunities and connections that are made and exchanged through both networks.

I also love the nature of film making at IJP, their mission as an film production company and social enterprise, not to mention the incredibly loving, talented, and supportive team we have! Charity film really is the best way to help campaign and raise awareness on the key issues society faces. My proudest work so far will hands down be the suicide prevention workshops held within HMP Wandsworth. Owain and I have now collated all this information in a report which has been circulated and even seen by the main governor Graham Barrett! We also have a meeting set with Safer Prisons and representatives from the 2 groups we worked with, staff and inmates in the criminal justice system. We wanted to ensure we got both perspectives to ensure we could help prevent such a prominent issue inside HMP Wandsworth.

My thanks

I also want to say how rewarding its been to work with our current cohort during our media training. Both lads are so talented, experienced, and creative. It’s also so beautiful to see how their confidence has grown over the last few months and how one guy said that he lives for our project work. Owain and I are certain both guys are benefiting from this exertion, whether it’s through them being upskilled or through the well-being support we offer as a team, or the opportunity to creatively express themselves and their experiences… something is working and it’s working well!