In. January 2016, when I attended my first funding meeting for social enterprises, little did I hope to get where we are today, making films to build a contemporary portrait of Southampton and on the road, with Claudia’s Bus. Our mobile office, sponsored so generously by First Bus, not only enables us to speak to residents about their daily lives, their concerns and solutions for the city we live in, but also enables us to work in partnership with various organisation large and small, who share the same public benefit ethos like We Make Southampton.
All I knew when I started researching how knowledge is being communicated in the city and the impact on its residents, was that I wanted to put to good use, for the public interest and the interest to the public, the journalistic and film-making skills I learnt since 1993, in high-end mainstream television and print, working for BBC and C4 documentaries, for BBC Panorama, C4 Dispatches, ITV’s World in Action, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday and others. I also knew that we have to connect more purposefully with each other, in this city full of potential, creative energy and enterprise. Southampton is a city full of surprises and challenges.
With the generous sponsorship from First Bus Southampton, the backing and training of the School of Social Entrepreneurs Hampshire, the grant from Big Lottery and Lloyds Bank, as well as colleagues who acted as effective 'sounding boards’, our social enterprise was registered onto 1st of September 2016, with 2 non-executive directors Kirsty Rowlinson and Saqib Yassin, who have been friends and neighbours since our children were babies. I owe our first website to the generous David Vane, from Solent Growth Business Network.
The fantastic sponsorship from First Bus, under the steering of Chrissie Bainsbridge, now retired from the position of Business Performance Director, meant that on the 21st of February 2017, we were ready to take over the 12 meters single decker bus, complete with office facilities. I benefited from the expert driving instructions of Dean Knight and Dean Hunt, as well as examiner Nick Sutton.
Since then, the income that we earned from working in the city, we re-invested in making films about local people, events and matters that otherwise would not have been made. We believe that films have a power to connect and to persuade people to take on board new ideas, new ways of doing things, and to challenge assumptions and prejudices.
In the summer of 2018, Saqib and Kirsty resigned as non-executive directors due to family and work commitments, and they were replaced by Non -Executive Directors Chrissie Bainbridge and Rob Davis, both very skilled and rigorous professionals, passionate and committed to Southampton.
WE MAKE SOUTHAMPTON a place to belong to!
For me, every day at work is an adventure and a great opportunity to find out how to help connect relevant knowledge to people who need it, in an informing and inspiring way. As a journalist and a film-maker, I will give it my all to make 'We Make Southampton’ a reliable resource to support local people to turn information into action.
But to make a tangible difference, we need YOU, to help us discover and tell the stories that would deepen our understanding of daily life in every one of our sixteen council wards, and how to make a tangible difference.
In turn, we offer you our support to develop a way of journalistic thinking, and skills to communicate free of assumptions, prejudices and unverified judgements.
Founder and Managing Director of We Make Southampton
Registered in England and Wales
We Make Southampton
CIC No 10355346
Registered in England& Wales
Managing Director/Editor Claudia Murg
Non-executive Directors Chris Bainbridge & Rob Davis