Animator bring project to life     29/03/18














A local animator is drawing on his own experience to encourage people across the Tees Valley to get help overcoming barriers to work or training.

Paul Whitlock, from Hartlepool, was a participant with Step Forward Tees Valley when he was asked to use his incredible digital animation skills to create a promotional video for the project.


Step Forward Tees Valley supports people to overcome complex issues, such as ill health, addiction or a conviction, that prevent them from working. It is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.

Paul, 25, has always been keen on animation, but had struggled to find the kind of work that was suited to his abilities.

Working with Step Forward helped him to better understand that his animation skills could be used to help other people who might be struggling to make their way in the world.

Paul, and the relatives who helped him produce the animation, hope it will appeal to people who need help and support, but who are difficult to reach.

Paul is now waiting to see if the video will lead to other similar animation work and is hoping that other charities and projects working in the community may see the benefit of using animation as a means of promotion and connection.


Helen Collins, Step Forward Tees Valley programme manager, said: “We are delighted with Paul’s work. He has taken an idea and turned it into an entertaining and informative video that we can’t wait to show people.


“I am really proud that one of our participants has got so much from the programme and is now helping us to reach even more people who could benefit from our work.”

Step Forward Tees Valley works with almost 30 organisations to provide bespoke help to people who have barriers to work or training. Joining the programme does not impact participants’ benefits.

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