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Why West Leeds folk are ‘getting Lippy’

By Noah Roberts

A video storytelling charity called Lippy People has recently been in West Leeds recording short films in Bramley with older people and people with learning disabilities. 

The videos explore themes of life, loss, learning and legacy in which people share their own personal lived experiences. 

The charity has now received funding from the National Lottery and Comic Relief and have just completed filming at Aspire in Bramley with people with learning disabilities. 

Peter Townson spoke about how powerful engaging people video and digital media can be. Whilst in Bramley they supported a young woman with learning disabilities who is non-verbal and was helped to share her personal story of the loss of her mum.

Lippy People worked with her in a meaningful way, offering to film at her supported living home with her key worker. Peter explained that when other people in her position watch her video online: “what a difference it will make to them to see someone with a lived experience like their own. It may make some people more able to open up and speak about how loss has impacted on them and reach out for help and support.” 

The project was based on research that found men who had lost someone close to them are less likely to share or talk about their loss. They first reached out to local communities looking for older men who had experienced bereavement to help them connect and share their stories. The charity has found great value in people being empowered to tell and share their own personal stories.

They continue to provide opportunities for marginalised groups by capturing their unheard stories. They have worked across Leeds and Bradford with refugee communities about their experiences of loss around identity and employment and with parents and carers of children with disabilities. 

Their short videos are available on the Lippy People YouTube site and are used as tools for advocacy.

Lippy People run group sessions in leeds, teaching film and digital skills so that people can learn how to record their own videos.

Due to a serious lack of bereavement support, particularly for neurodivergent people with a learning disability or autism, they were keen to secure funding so they could work with these communities also. 

The short films are shown at private screening events for family, friends and support organisations. Peter who has recently become a west leeds resident himself as he moved to pudsey a few weeks ago 

is now helping create films focusing on stories from learning disabled, those living with autism and ADHD who are part of the LGBTQIA+ communities. If you’d like to find out more or take part in future project’s, you can contact peter@lippypeople.org.

Check out their videos now available on the YouTube channel www.youtube.com/@Lippypeople1

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