Fern Hallam, aged 20, has been awarded a Gold Arts Award, securing her place at university! Fern joined us in February 2012 to complete her Bronze Award as part of the Royal Pavilion & Museums’ partnership programme with the Prince’s Trust.
“I left school without any qualifications, due to my anxiety I could not take my exams. This left me with very little confidence in myself. I had a passion for photography which I wanted to explore but I couldn’t cope with going to college, so when my connexions worker told about the bronze arts award course at Brighton museum with The Princes Trust, that was only a week long, we both thought this would be a great way to ease me back into education. It felt great getting back into education and it was such a positive experience for me, though I had a panic attack I got such support from everyone involved I was able to go on and complete it and get my bronze arts award certificate. I made some new friends; it also helped me to gain some confidence and some new skills.
I went on to do my silver arts award, I was then asked if I would like to go straight on to do my gold arts award as I was already working at gold level. I have had so many great opportunities from doing my arts awards, from my first solo exhibition that gave me such a confidence boost and gave me the skills for future exhibitions, to my one to one workshop with Lynn Weddle who is a professional photographer. The techniques and knowledge I learnt have enabled me to since set up studio lighting for various photo-shoots and has helped me countless times.
Going to university is something that I have always wanted to do but I never thought I’d have the opportunity to, due to my anxiety and leaving school without any qualifications. However I found a foundation degree that the entry requirements were a level 3 qualification in photography and a portfolio of work. Thanks to Brighton museum I have both and was offered a place at the interview, which I have now accepted, I start my course in September. The arts awards and Brighton museum have given me a world of opportunity’s I never thought I could have. The museum feels like a second home to me, I’m very sad to say goodbye. I can’t wait to start a new chapter of my life and start a career in the subject I love, this something that without the help of the staff at Brighton museum and everyone involved in the arts awards I could have never achieved.”
You can also see Fern’s work on her Tumblr.
Hazel Welch, Youth Engagement Officer