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Animation students get a head start with industry experience


University of Wolverhampton students are working on a project to bring a mental health awareness and education programme to life for young people.

HeadStart is a Big Lottery Fund initiative in twelve local partnerships across England, including Wolverhampton. £9.4 million has been secured by the City Of Wolverhampton Council over the next five years to help build the emotional resilience and mental well-being of young people aged 10 to 16. The aim of HeadStart is to prevent the development of serious mental health issues later in life.

A group of three third-year animation degree students and two graduates are working to create a series of animations which reinforce the main principles of SUMO (Stop, Understand, Move On). SUMO is one of the core elements of the HeadStart programme with schools.

Richard Anderson, the Media and Communications Lead for HeadStart said: “HeadStart has developed close links with the University, and it is fantastic that we’ve been able to work alongside such talented students in creating these resources. These engaging animations will be a great starting point for learning SUMO principles for young people in Wolverhampton schools and beyond.”

Emily Mantell, Animation Course Leader in the School of Media at the University, said: “The SUMO project has been an amazing opportunity for our animators to work directly with clients on paid work experience. The project has furthered their knowledge and confidence and we are proud of how professional and competent our students and graduates have been – they’ve also shown each other amazing support as a creative team.”

Ideas and storyboards for the animations were created during two intensive workshop days, with support from Stone’s Throw Media, a successful media company formed by a group of university graduates. The animation students are now completing the meticulous work of frame-by-frame animation for four short films to be released in April.

Bethany Borg, Animation student, said: “Both of the workshops were great opportunities to meet with the rest of the team and bounce around ideas. It was great being in such a creative environment and being given the chance to work on such a worthwhile project.”

The project is being managed by the University as part of their WXP Scheme which pays young, talented graduates and undergraduates to work alongside public and private sector organisations on live projects.

A montage of the storyboards, animations and illustrations created so far can be found here.


For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 24th March 2017

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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