SCAN’s Carolynne Online Editor interviews Hannah Spencer, Project Leader of Look ahead of their charity donation event.
1. Hannah, can you tell SCAN readers what your project is, and what it’s all about?
The project is part of a Media & Cultural Studiesmodule called Social Media Activism, in other words, MCS303. Our project is aimed at combining social media with real world local action. Our campaign focuses on the issue of homelessness in Lancaster and one, helping through donating and hopefully changing someone’s day; and two, collecting opinions and attitudes of students upon the issue.
2. What an incredible, eye-opening project! What or who has influenced this idea to focus on homelessness?
The idea was my team and I’s. We’re an international team and it’s been so surprising to the non-native students’ reactions to how the problem of homelessness is ignored in Lancaster, as if it’s not Lancaster’s own problem! And students don’t even get involved, they often choose to avoid the homeless. If they can see it, and can assess the problem rationally and maturely, why can’t we?
Of course, research into the social media platform Pinterest inspired us in terms of designing appropriate graphics that would depict a correlation to homelessness.
However, the focus of the project is on real-world action with social media as the sole platform to spread the message. So we’re utilising platforms to the best of our ability to promote and share the event with students as a method of getting attendees, but also to see if social media can be used in this way to benefit charities and raise awareness for certain campaigns and real-world issues.
3. What do you hope to get out of the project?
Personally, I hope we can start to engage students and make them look at the very least, hence the name of our campaign, at the issue. My team and I want to raise awareness of homelessness by opening up the floor and getting people to assess the issue as a whole with their eyes first. I really hope we can inspire others to help in the community, and by that I mean Lancaster town centre, or even just bring attention to attitudes of the student popualtion and share our thoughts with one another.