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Under The Bridge/Shed Your Tears And Walk Away

From Susan Carter

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

I was at a screening of "Shed Your Tears And Walk Away" by Jez Lewis in the Picture House, Hebden tonight. Unfortunately due to time restrictions, Under The Bridge was sadly not shown.

Everything the council promised, following the massive wave of publicity that Under the Bridge started, has not happened, nothing has changed, far too many people continue to die due to drink and drugs in Hebden. We have a serious problem here that needs to be highlighted.

Instead of so-called hysteria - said by the councillor, I believe it is more important to shine a light on the dramatic situation in Hebden Bridge, find ways to help finance and solve these problems and make Hebden Bridge the flagship to show what can be achieved.

Congratulations to the directors of both films and I hope we can make more publicity for this.

From John Gale

Saturday, 25 September 2010

I was at this week's screening of Shed your Tears. And was silly enough to expect something positive to come from the Q n A session afterwards. Instead I listened to Nader Fekri feeding us some statistical nonsense about the rate of suicide in our area not actually being as bad as we thought as it was only 1.8 in every 100,000 or something to that effect.

I also witnessed the panel discussing the needs to raise the prices of alcohol to combat our youth-drink problem and ensuring that we have the proper support network for people who have been lost to drink and drugs. I didn't once hear anyone asking any teenagers why they stand around in the rain drinking booze, or what they want or need to help them better themselves.

The discussion appeared to rapidly become more about saving face and protecting themselves from the fact that since the first screening of the film some time ago, the council and the parties involved in promising to make a change haven't actually done a damn thing that they could stand up and present to us on the night.

There was no one present representing the local police for one. And no grand scheme (other than the obvious desperate need to raise alcohol prices!) to help our young people. I even witnessed someone saying that the young people need to get up and help themselves!

I was part of a team of people who, with the help and support of a large number of Hebden Bridge youth, have raised almost £190,000 to build themselves a new skatepark, and who also hosted an event on the park in May of this year called the Fair For Youth which saw hundreds and hundreds of the towns local youngsters enjoying music and fun on the park all day long, with no need for any police all day, despite having a few beers here and there.

The children of Hebden Bridge are more than ready to help themselves. I have proved this time and again this year. We have offered them the opportunities to better themselves, create a new skate park, raise massive amounts of cash, host a huge local event for local youngsters, invite all the local youth services to offer themselves to our youngsters, and the young people of Hebden have taken up this mantle and done all they can to help make things better for themselves.

What they need is somewhere to be heading, something to work towards, something achievable, something realistic, and relevant.

What we don't need is people like Nader Fekri spitting statistical nonsense about how it isn't as bad as it seems. It obviously is this bad Nader. And I personally think you need to find some better ideas and solutions as to what our children actually want and need. Has anyone spoken to these groups of children? Has anyone been out and done this face to face research? Our young people live in a town where they have nothing to do, the culture we as adults have created in this town for our children does not match the activities that we have on offer. No disrespect to any service that offers themselves to our young people, but things just are not relevant enough to warrant any of the poeple who need saving actually turning up.

In the last two years we have seen immense pain and suffering and loss. And through all of that, our young peolpe have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for themselves, have earned themselves a new skatepark and a new area of the park to call their own. They have hosted, and I quote "one of calderdales top 5 most successfull events of the years for young people", and they continue to work towards completion of various projects.

They came to the screening of Shed your Tears to see what had changed and what plans were now in place, they asked the right questions to the Q n A pannel and were left saddened, dissappointed and angry. THese children are helping themselves, and they are trying to do it in a town that caters to the needs of tourists, the upper classes, and the masses who come here from far away to buy up all our chances of owning a house in our own town, and our young people are left with only themselves to entertain themselves.

And you the adults run around fuelling your own political agendas and stating that things need to change and we need to save our young people. I have seen these young people making an effort to save themselves. We the young people have done more for ourselves in the last two years than I have seen anyone do for them. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but when I spend time with these children and ask them why, the answer is always always the same, "What else have we got? Where can we go? What can we do?". These are the things that need addressing people, not the raising of alcohol prices or a need to educate our children better on the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

I was deeply saddened at the Q n A session to see a veil of political nonsense fall rapidly over the real plight of our youngsters in Hebden, yet again. I can honestly say that the only people, yet again, who are going to help our youngsters, is going to be a tiny group of amazing adults, and our youngsters themselves. It's a sad day when I can say they have done more for themselves in the last two years then any group of "politically motivated" adults has.

From Les S

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Why do we always say there is nothing for young people to do? Is this just legitimising underage drinking and early onsets of addiction and the sporadic anti-social behavior?

How many small towns and villages in England have a cinema, theater, music venues etc etc? Not only this but forestry work and a thriving and growing outdoor pursuits market, walking and it's a tourist / visitor hotspot. How many small towns and villages have access so easily to two major UK Cities and lots larger towns? Some perspective please.

I know people say the same in Central London and Manchester, "there is nothing for them to do". It's like some self fulfilling prophecy if people think they are trapped somewhere and they are not being inspired to think beyond the box or should we say bottle or bag!

If we are saying that young people need to be fed into mass employment in Mills and mines like the old days then we are out of luck, but if we change that perspective and talk about what we have, we have a lot, what expectations do young people have in Hebden Bridge? Arcades?, busy financial districts?, roller discos? Airport? Shopping Mall. I don't understand surely this is about aspiring young people to look at what's on the doorstep and finding a way to motivate involvement and investment in the local environment and the development of the area.

Would people rather Hebden Bridge was a big sink estate where no one chose to live, no one came to bring new ideas and perspectives? Is it really okay to say young people can throw their lives to the wind and show disregard to the local environment because "there is nothing to do" and the "adults in the community don't care"

See also:

Under the Bridge - YouTube

HebWeb News: Reviews of the film

HebWeb Forum: The Lost Boys of Hebden Bridge (Feb-May 2010)

The Times: The Lost Boys of Hebden Bridge (6 Feb 2010)

Independent on Sunday: Why has Hebden Bridge become suicide central? (1 Nov 2009)

FaceBook page: Shed Your Tears and Walk Away

HebWeb News: Shed Your Tears and Walk Away (Oct 2009)

HebWeb Forum: Shed Your Tears and Walk Away (Oct-Dec 2009)

HebWeb News: Let us not walk away. Let us walk together (Feb 2010)