Young people deliver road safety messages at film premiere

A host of invited guests and young people turned out for the premiere of Concrete Dreams at the Arcola Theatre on Friday 30 July.

MMC, a group of young people from Hackney aged 15-19, proudly premiered the film they have produced, directed and starred in, to help communicate road safety messages to their peers, at a special red-carpet event in Dalston.

Concrete Dreams is the result of a project organised by Hackney Council’s Road Safety Team, in partnership with Abbot Street Studios, African Caribbean Development Foundation and Dbiz8 Empowerment Consultancy, which began with a series of free, half term ‘Make your Messages Count’ workshops in October 2009.

The group is made up of 15 young people, most of whom took part in the workshops which included drama/script writing; film production; social networking; radio production; advertising; and music and dance sessions, and were then selected to develop and produce the film.

Speaking at the premiere, MMC group member and production assistant Ethan May explained the decision for making a film specifically aimed at people their own age: “It started with statistics. We did a survey of over 200 young people from two different schools in Hackney and realised that only 14 percent actually remember the road safety messages aimed at them. So that is why we created our own road safety film, Concrete Dreams, with support from the Council and partners.”

The 15-minute film is intended to be used as an educational tool by schools, community organisations and youth groups, and will also be put on YouTube and Facebook.

MMC also recorded a song called Unstoppable as part of the project that will be available along with the film to help promote road safety messages in Hackney and beyond.

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Congratulations and well done to everyone involved in this project, which has already been a great success. Concrete Dreams demonstrates the skills that the young people have developed, enabling them to work with us to get out important road safety messages in a way that they enjoy, and that will encourage others to take up the services available in Hackney.”

The Council’s Road Safety Team will be running a special competition associated with the film as part of their educational programme later in the year.

For more information about Road Safety in Hackney, visit: