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Arts organisations get online thanks to student talent
Cllr Darren Rodwell congratulates Julius on his prize-winning website

Arts organisations get online thanks to student talent

20 May 2015

Barking & Dagenham College’s Technical Skills Academy students have been helping local creative and arts organisations get online by creating and building new websites for them. Led by the arts project, Creative Barking and Dagenham, the project matched the IT students with twelve clients from across the Borough, including fashion designers, artists and even a community crafts club, all with one thing in common – they needed a new website!

Prize winners 

This week, Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, joined Helen Ball, Engagement Director, from Creative Barking and Dagenham and Hilary Moore, Head of the Technical Skills Academy to form the judging panel to choose the top three student-designed websites.

Computer Science degree 

Julius Razanauskas, 18, from Upton Park, took the top prize with his site for You Press, a social enterprise which helps young people share their stories. Speaking about his win, Julius said:

“I am keen to get as much real work experience as possible, so this win is fantastic. I’m interested in both the creative and coding aspects of creating a website, and my ambition is to go to university to study computer science.”

Second prize was awarded to Roshaurn James, 18, from Dagenham Heath, who designed a website for emerging fashion designer, Kim Stevenson.  Majid Hussein, 19, from Ilford, took third prize with his site for Artz XP, an organisation which offers creative training courses for young people.

"Terrific"

Commenting on the project, Helen Ball said:

“This has been a great experience.  The standard of work has been terrific. It’s really heartening to see just how much talent these young people have and to be able to match it with clients who all need an online presence, but don’t have large budgets to invest. It was a learning process on both sides and fantastic to see how much everyone has got out of it.”

Lisa Cameron, lecturer in IT, Interactive and Multi-media at the Technical Skills Academy, added:

“It’s been an excellent opportunity for our students not only to put their technical skills to the test, but also to develop their employability skills. For many, this is the first time they have worked with a real client, taken feedback and had to find solutions to overcome obstacles. Inviting businesses to work with our students is part of our DNA at the College, across all subjects not just IT.”

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