Silent Elephant Project : Short Film Workshops

by Mr. Babz in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,581

raised so far



Giving marginalised long term and life-limiting health conditions a voice, through co-produced short films with students.

by Mr. Babz in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 16th September 2019 we'd raised £1,581 with 37 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

We are looking to raise money to support the pre production sessions of our next wave of short film workshops in schools this academic year (2019/20), giving voice to marginalised health conditions and its sufferers.


  • Bringing to life the real impact of life limiting/long term health conditions
  • Empowering young people to positively impact real life communities
  • Teaching media and production skills
  • Cultivating a heart of empathy between young people and the sufferers of life limiting conditions
  • Reducing loneliness and building an improved support system around carers and sufferers of marginalised health conditions
  • Creating an eco-system around health research, particularly from a young age
  • Creating a production that ultimately helps Charities to raise awareness and funds for their causes
  • Creating resources that National and International Health bodies can use to engage the public


The Silent Elephant Project is run by Freshrb C.I.C. - A video production social enterprise based in Manchester that primarily use video production to raise the awareness of health themes, whilst running video production workshops with young people and individuals with life limiting/long term conditions.


I (Babz) was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 in my final year at the University of Liverpool and just like anyone who is told they have cancer, I was in shock and my life's narrative forever changed. I thought cancer only affect elderly people, but I was wrong. 

Kondwani, who is the co-director of Freshrb, was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) in his final year at the University of Leeds. In his case, he knew nothing about this life limiting illness and so the same stance point of shock was felt. - Meet Kondwani

For both our cases, our ability to cope with these 'life changing' conditions would have been better if we had prior basic knowledge of them. Off the back of these experiences, the Silent Elephant Project (SEP) was conceived.

‘An elephant in the room’ is an English-language metaphorical idiom for an obvious problem no one wants to discuss, or a condition no one wants to challenge. This phrase has coined the main objective of the Silent Elephant Project – Giving marginalised life limiting and long-term health conditions, that do not get discussed, a platform through creative and interactive projects. The SEP is unique, as it acts as double edged sword tackling loneliness in the community both for those involved in the cohorts and wider public that come in contact with the project deliverables. All this is done with the purpose of building a bridge between research and engagement.

My experience with creative workshops during/post my chemotherapy treatments developed the idea to design a creative way of empowering and engaging young people/students with short film co-productions linked with health themes.


We take 6 students through a 4 months process (the equivalent of a school term) where the students/participants go through 13 sessions covering all the production stages in short film making.

From our 2 previous pilot workshops, we have realised that bringing factual conditions/health themes into fictional storylines encourages research amongst students and young people. Both for those who take part in the production of the short films and those who watch the short films. We take the students through the major three stages of production (Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production) teaching them not only practical media and research skills but creative and life skills that fall in line with the 'Gatsby Benchmark' and Ofsted Priorities.

  • Sessions 1 - 7: Pre production (Includes - primary and secondary research, script writing, story boarding, location scouting, etc)
  • Session 8 - 11: Production (practical filming skills and techniques )
  • Session 12 - 13: Post Production (short film editing, production draft reviews and feedback)
  • Session 14: Short Film Screening in School (peer to peer engagement, awareness and empowerment)


Cllr Hannah Priest (Charlestown Ward) - "This short film was made by students at Co-op Academy North Manchester for the Silent Elephant Project, run by Freshrb C I C . The film is intended to raise awareness of ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the students were involved in every aspect of the film-making process. They also got an accredited qualification at the end of the course. I think it's a great film, and I'm very proud of the students who took part in the project."


Kondwani is one of the co-directors of Freshrb, who suffers from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Watch a real life video testimonial as he answers some questions people ask about his involvement in executing the SEP workshops.


The need is simple, to date we have received interests from over 30+ schools and communities in just the Greater Manchester region for this service but our resource levels cannot keep up with this demand. We need to scale the team and train more supervisor in order to meet this demand. This is why we are here.

In addition to this, in The Directory of Life-Limiting Conditions is a list of nearly four hundred diseases that can limit life in children (Hain and Devins, Cardiff, 2011). Most of these conditions are not even spoken about, a few on this exhaustive list are as follows - 

  • Autism
  • Chronic SMA
  • Faziolondes syndrome
  • Parkinsons disease 
  • Hallervorden Spatz 
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy 
  • Alpers syndrome 
  • Leigh Syndrome 
  • Aicardia-Goutieres 
  • Worster drought syndrome


Taylor's Shadow (Drama Short Film)Why ME? (Drama Shortfilm)

Taylor's Shadow Amazon Prime Link  (Miscarriage)

Why ME YouTube Link (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)



In the next academic year 2019/2020, We are looking to offer 5 schools/academies/colleges in the Greater Manchester Region these short film workshops.

For academic year 2020/2021, We are looking to offer 10 schools/academies/colleges  in the Greater Manchester Region these short film workshops.

For academic year 2021/2022, We are looking to offer 20 schools/academies/colleges in the Northwest Region these short film workshops.


The money raised will go into the following:

  • Adding more creative workshop supervisors to our team
  • Training of workshop supervisors
  • Workshop material and delivery costs
  • Accreditations and Certificates
  • Pre production costs
  • Developing our already in place sustainability strategy by end of 2020 which makes the short film workshops run on their own without the need for grants/investments.


Please also support us by spreading this widely across your social media platforms and tag us.

Facebook/Twitter/instagram @FreshrbCIC



This project offered rewards

£10 or more

Lights, Camera, Action - Let's Get This Going

Amazing! We will thank you in our newsletters. We will keep you up to speed on the progress of each workshop in the new academic year

£25 or more

Supporter's Honorary Reward

You are an absolute Legend! •Name in end credits in one of our SEP short films

£100 or more

Benefactor's Honorary Reward (Name+T Shirt)

You are a change maker! •Name in end credits in one of our SEP short films •1 SEP branded T shirt

£500 or more

Champion's Reward (Name+T Shirt+Poster)

You are an absolute legend and a change maker!! •Name in end credits in ALL 5 SEP short films •2 SEP branded T shirts - for variations of sizes please select 'Option 4' and we will contact you) •A3 poster print of 1 of the SEP short films (upon completion of short films)

£1,000 or more

Pioneer's Reward (Logo+Merchandise+Poster)

We tip our hats to you for you are COMPLETELY ACE!! •Logo/Name at the Intro of 1 SEP short film of your choice •Name in end credits in ALL 5 SEP short films •2 SEP branded merchandise (T shirt & hoodie - for variations of sizes please select 'Option 4' and we will contact you) •A3 poster print of 1 of the SEP short films (upon completion of short films)

£5,000 or more

Partner's Reward (Website+Logo+Merchandise+Poster)

You were made on another planet, Complete STAR!!! •Logo/name at the Intro of ALL 5 short films •Name in end credits in ALL 5 SEP short films •Listed on our website as one of the official partners/sponsors for duration of the 5 SEP short film projects. •SEP branded merchandise (2 Mugs, 2 T Shirts & 2 Hoodies) - (for variations of sizes please select 'Option 4' and we will contact you) •A3 poster print of 1 of the SEP short films

£10,000 or more

Legacy Partner's Reward(Screening+Partner Rewards)

SPEECHLESS...NO WORDS... •Logo/name at the Intro of all 5 SEP short films •Name in end credits in all 5 SEP short films •Input at health theme selection stage for one of the SEP short films •1 awareness event e.g. private screening session for your organisation or group of your choice •Listed on our website as official sponsors. •6 merchandise (Mug, T shirt & hoodie) - for variation 'Option 4' •A3 poster print of 1 of the SEP:short film

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