Ethos and History
If you pop over to ‘Who are we?‘ you will get the full text of our vision, mission …. but in a nutshell – who are we? We are all people who, at some time in our life, have been marginalised in a way that affected us mentally – I suppose in that way, we are just ordinary people. When we came together, we had a working title of ‘on the margins’ and that is still very much something that we think of.
This idea of not being quite ‘in society’. When it came time to become a ‘real company’ we came up with the name Channel PWEM. It was a little bit ‘tongue in cheek’, something like a US local broadcaster called ‘Station WXYZ’ or ‘Station WKLR’.
We run projects with adults who have differing levels of intellectual ability using modern media like a TV Stuio or cartoons / animations. Most of all we have fun and feel better!
Everything we do is around the concept of a TV Studio (or a TV Broadcaster) so that is why we used the word ‘Channel’. But what about PWEM – did we pluck that out of the air? Well, not exactly. We thought about what we had been doing as ‘On The Margins’ and what had improved our lives.
So, this is what we thought:
- Personal Well-being. This is the inner self, where we all live. It is how we wake up, it is how we go to sleep . What is our own sense of Personal Well-being? PW is central to everything that we do.
- On our own journeys there were 2 key elements that helped us. One was a process of learning. This process then led to a feeling of Empowerment. So think of the E as empowerment tied in with a spot of education or learning.
- Nearly there! What about the final M? We had a sense that our work was around the mind, marginalisation and using modern media technologies. It was hard to put our finger on exactly what drove us but it was very clear that a sense of ‘not belonging’ and how it affected the mind was important . Further brain storming (excuse the pun) brought us around to Intellectual Disability. In the end, we opted for the letter M as being more encompassing of what and how we felt.
Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Now that you know where we were coming from, I hope you can understand now why we work with Adults with Intellectual disabilities. Oh how we hate that word – disabilities! If there is one thing we have learned – it is that people have far more abilities than we ever give them credit for ! But Intellectual disabilities (or I.D.) seems to have become the accepted terminology – unfortunately.
Let’s take that as a starting point. Everyone, no matter their ability is a learner. Right from the moment we are born we are inquisitive and this is something that we often loose sight of. Just because a person has been given the tag ‘Intellectual Disability’ does not mean that he (or she) has stopped being a learner. Now for the second part of the statement – with ideas worth communicating. To us, that is the most important aspect. There are times that we feel that we are ‘the teacher’ but more often that is turned on its head. It happens because we still get blinded by labels. We don’t expect the flash of genius that was hidden by a social tag of Intellectual Disability.
In a Nutshell
To put it simply:
- We work with Adults who have Intellectual Disabilities whether from birth or acquired later in life
- A person taking part in a project will have a specific goal to achieve – his or her personal goal
- We work at facilities which are under the umbrella of HIQA – this is key to working with vulnerable adults
- We run the vast majority of our projects within the context of a Community TV Studio. We also run ‘animation projects’ which don’t require studio space – just imagination!
- For a host organisation – that organisation provides the physical space for The Studio and heat/light etc. We supply the know-how, and all the technology required to run a successful project
You too can get involved!
- as a member of Channel PWEM. Have a look at Project Policy to get a clearer idea of the projects and, more importantly, how you can become involved.
- as a Host organisation. If you would like to ‘host a project’ – get in touch, don’t put it on the long finger! OK? We would love to come and chat over a cuppa and show examples of what we do.