Honorary Patron: Lord Joel Joffe CBE
Martin is an award–winning filmmaker who grew up in Herefordshire. He attended the University of Southampton before joining the ground-breaking ILEA Media Education department at Marjohns in Chelsea. Then followed an MA at Dalhousie University Nova Scotia, Canada and Martin thereafter continued to work in Canada as a Producer in local television and then with the National Film Board of Canada.
Martin returned to Britain in 1980 and was the founder (and Director for ten years) of Media Arts, Britain’s first public media centre – launched in early 1983 by Lord Richard Attenborough in the Swindon Town Hall Arts Centre. He has served as a member of National Training Policy Committee (accrediting National Film schools); Council member of British Video History Trust and Council member of the national Community Media Association for the UK.
With a particular interest in social history and ethnographic film, he has made a number of documentaries in this area, and in 1987 set up Western Film Archive to collect and preserve endangered historical films from the region and make them accessible to the public. More than 2,000 films have since been digitised and form one of the most significant regional collections in the country. In 2012 he was awarded a Pride of Swindon Special Achievement Award for 33 years service to Swindon’s Community Media sector.
Roger came to Swindon in 1979 as a Community Development Officer with Thamesdown Borough Council, with responsibility for community engagement in a brand new area of the town. Community communications was a key component of the role and he started a free local newsletter, initially distributed to 500 homes. Eight years later West Swindon had grown to 10,000 homes and Roger left the council to publish Swindon Link magazine on a full time basis.
The print run is now 28,000 and distribution continues to be free of charge. The magazine is primarily delivered to homes in North and West Swindon, with copies left in public places across the town. It can also be found at swindonlink.com which now carries more stories than appear in print. Although funded out of advertising Swindon Link contains a high level of editorial covering social and community concerns in the town and has a high degree of trust from its readers.
Rupert was born and brought up in Oxfordshire. After graduating in Film and Television production from Plymouth College of Art and Design, Rupert went on to work at Dartington in Devon, where he set up and ran a community video project for the employees of the Dartington Hall Trust. In 1975 he moved to Swindon Viewpoint, the Community Television and Radio cable station, as a Community Enabler and became Station Manager from 1977 to 1980.
In the 1980s he worked in a number of video production companies in the UK and USA as a producer of corporate and specialist videos and interactive media. Rupert has written, directed and produced twenty-five TV commercials and over 800 videos, DVDs and films for promotion, training, English language education and employee communications for national and international organisations.
More recently (2009-2013), Rupert helped to launch and worked as a producer, Head of Training and engineering manager for the Somer Valley 97.5FM Community Radio station, based in Midsomer Norton, Somerset. His job included the scripting and production of live and recorded programmes, scheduling of programmes, and the training of novice volunteer producers from 7-70 years of age in the techniques of scripting, recording and editing, live studio operation and engineering.
Rupert is now volunteering at Frome FM community radio as a producer of his own programmes, but also helping new volunteers to achieve their goals. He was a board director of Swindon Viewpoint for 30 years (during its not-for-profit company stage) and is now a founding trustee of Viewpoint Community Media CIO.
Hannah Parry – Chair
Hannah was born and grew up in Swindon. After attending Commonweal School she moved on to Swindon College where she studied a National Diploma in Communication Design at the School of Art & Design on Euclid Street. A year out saw her travel around the US and Canada before returning for University in Cardiff, where she attained a BA Honours degree in Graphic Communication.
Following several years living in Bristol, mainly employed in Social Housing, Hannah returned to Swindon to work on community-based projects, one of which became Viewpoint Community Media.
Hannah is the current organiser of The Children’s Fete – a large-scale one-day children’s festival which dates back to 1866 – and works in a development capacity with Voluntary Action Swindon. She also sits on the committee of the Swindon Youth Partnership and represents Viewpoint through the Swindon Community Infrastructure Partnership.
Hannah’s interest in Community Media comes from her belief in public access to media and in the value of creativity, combined with her passion for Community Development; an area of work in which she recently (2013) attained a Level 3 qualification.