How Bootstrap Helps Young People in Hackney Make Informed Career Choices – A Case Study with Silverfish Films

Bootstrap is a business-led charity that promotes responsible business as a way to address inequality in Hackney. We help young people to make informed career choices through running Industry Insight Days, providing Work Experience opportunities across our tenants and by training and matching Career Mentors for them. We do this in partnership with our tenants. Every organisation working from our buildings is called upon to deliver our charitable objectives with us. Bootstrap provides a framework, support, training and partners. Our tenants provide expertise, experience and enthusiasm.

During our Insight Days, Bootstrap tenants share their stories, work experience and career advice with young people. In June, we organised an Insight Day about the Film Industry for a group of 15 young people in partnership with The Wickers Charity, led by our tenant Silverfish Films. Mark Lucas, founder of Silverfish, brought his team together and prepared an incredible hands-on experience for the young people, which resulted in one of them contacting them later asking for advice, and eventually joining Silverfish as an intern.

A group of young people at an insight day with Bootstrap Charity
Insight Day with Silverfish Films

For Mark, working in film can be life-changing and world changing. It is exciting to try and talk about things that are not spoken about, to create something useful for as many people as possible. He studied film by chance, and during his degree he did some work experience for a TV company, which ended up being his job. He knows the value of supporting young people at the right time. 

“At Silverfish, three out of seven of us at the moment did work experience then got full time jobs. There’s two main reasons why it’s important to offer work experience to young people. The first one is that the filmmaking industry is a very unbalanced community; the privileged kids get hands up from their friends, and we want to try to challenge that a bit. The second one is that this industry is not for everybody. If people try it, they can see if it’s the right thing for them.”

Mark explains.

Daniel during his Work Experience at Silverfish Films

Mark offered Daniel a few days of work experience, helped him with CV writing and gave him some contacts in the industry: 

“He’s up against people who got first class degrees from Oxford, so it's a very different environment. We decided to help him because he took the initiative and reached out to us, and he was clear that he wanted a future in this industry.”

Mark advises young people wanting to get into this industry to ask people for advice rather than asking people for jobs. There are a lot of people prepared to give guidance and help, and to use your initiative and contact as many people as possible, to experience the environment to see if that is what you really want to do and to join any schemes available to get an understanding of the industry.

“I think that Bootstrap’s Insight Days are not only a fantastic idea, it’s also very well put together, very well organised, and it’s a tremendous project and I encourage anyone that can to get involved and support it, it’s a really great thing. We would love to do it again. We’ve all got a responsibility to our community and our society and we all have to try and at least contribute something and this is a really effective way to do it.”

says Mark about the experience.

If you are a young person in need of career guidance, you can sign up for our mentoring programme here.

Bootstrap Charity is a workspace and business-led charity that promotes responsible business as a way to address inequality in Hackney.


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