One thing that we’re really good at at Culturapedia is responding quickly to an opportunity. This story shows how we really can give ideas legs. One Thursday afternoon in mid September we had an email from Livity, the company behind somewhereto_ nationally, asking if anyone had any young free-runners signed up to the project as they had found an opportunity for a group of young people to use 10 Downing Street for the Day. What an amazing gig.
We know a group of freerunners based in Accrington. They’ve worked with our friends at Blaze, an ambitious youth-led culture and sport programme for Lancashire. We signed them up to somewhereto_ at the Urban Culture Jam at the end of August.
We immediately gave one of them a call and got back to Livity. It was a frantic 24 hours. Livity and 10 Downing Street kept wanting more detail, videos, pictures, histories. We were talking to a group of four and at one point they said there would only be spaces for two. Hard calls had to me made. We were getting messages saying “We need photos in the next twenty minutes”.
Paul who works on somewhereto_ with us was on holiday and Claire took charge, responding to requests and co-ordinating things from our end.
It wasn’t until she’d gone home on the Friday that we got a message through saying that pending background checks, our two young people were going to be doing free-running in Number 10 Downing Street on 1st October.
More arrangements were made and we put them on a train to London. All went well and we were told that the story was embargoed until 7th October when a video would be released.
Keen to make the most of the event in the North West we were in the process of planning a big splash for Friday when we got a message through that the Prime Minister had seen an edit of the film and wanted to show it as an introduction to his speech at the Tory Party Conference on Wednesday 5th October.
The video was released early and, once again, using our ability to respond quickly, we hit the ground running. The video went up on mailout.co – the first publication to break the story, accompanied by our usual Twitter and Facebook broadcasting. The video was shown at the conference. Claire dropped everything and during the course of the day secured features on the MEN website, The Accrington Observer and The Lancashire Telegraph. We’ve secured coverage through Arts Council England North West. Tonight, Jack and Callum are going to be interviewed live on BBC North West Tonight. We’ve just heard that the interview and video has just been trailed on the North West Slot of Breakfast News.
The whole team at Culturapedia pulled out the stops, supported each other and helped get some amazing results. As a Director I am incredibly proud that the team secured North West involvement at the event, contributed to a project that got the notice of the Prime Minister and had the swiftness of foot to capitalise on the news for the benefit of somewhereto_ and Young People in the North West. We have a fantastic team who really do give ideas legs.