6 June, 2019
New Beginnings for aspiring young photographer
Dannii is almost 18 and is a child in care. She first came into contact with the Youth Support Team when she was at college on a photography course. Things weren't going well for Dannii at the time - she's had a lot of hardships in her life and she was struggling to keep on track, especially with education - she dropped out of college after her first year and couldn't envisiage going back, despite her love of photography.
This was around the time she was assigned to one of our case workers from the Wrap Around Team. Through the professional support and encouragement she found there, Dannii was able to start building her confidence, explore her options, think about what she wanted in life and start getting back on track. Pretty soon she had started a traineeship with a local photography studio through Prospects Training - she loved this, and helped clarify that photography was her passion, but knew she wanted to push herself even further. She wanted to go to university - not an easy aspiration given her poor education record to date.
Through the continued supportive relationship with workers at the YST she was able to build up a network of multi agency connections to enable her to find a tutor through the local charity, The Bizz and funding through the My Life, My Plan initiative. From here she was able to start building up a portfolio of work required to secure a university place. The YST also helped her with UCAS forms and attended university interviews with her.
Roll forward a few months and Dannii has been on an incredible journey: next week she hosts her first ever exhibition to showcase the work that enabled her to secure a place at UWE this September. She says she is very nervous but excited at the same time:
Having an exhibition was on my 'bucket list' but I never expected to be having one this early in my career. The exhibition is a showcase of my work to date - there isn't really theme but I hope that this shows the full spectrum of my work and what I can do"
She also talked about her thoughts about going to university.
I've really struggled in life and education in particular but feel like university is the right next step for me. It's scary - moving to a new place and starting a new life - but I'm looking forward to living my life and following my passion for photography, making a career out of something I love - Annie (YST) and Martin (The Bizz) showed me that it was possible".
Dannii's exhibition is on Wednesday 19th June at The City Church, Seymour Road, Gloucester, GL1 5PT from 2.30-6.30pm. Everyone is welcome.
You can follow her on Instagram @DanniiJoPhotography