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Teenage group in Lowestoft to produce film emphasising the dangers of online grooming

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 March 2015

Local MP Peter Aldous visits the East Coast Internet safety group. Picture: Nick Butcher

Local MP Peter Aldous visits the East Coast Internet safety group. Picture: Nick Butcher

A Lowestoft mum is working alongside group of teenagers to highlight the dangers of internet grooming.

Around 30 youngsters have already signed up to dictate the direction that the Eastcoast Internet Safety Project takes, with the main idea including the production of a new film.

Heidy Brooks, 38, from north Lowestoft, is the driving force behind the non-profit making project, which has already received support from nearby businesses and Waveney MP Peter Aldous.

She has helped to finalise the script for the Avant Garde film, which has incorporated a range of ideas from talented youngsters.

Miss Brooks has expertise in the film industry and a BA honours degree in design.

She described how most of the teenagers involved are between 12 and 18 and how they were keen to get a particular message across.

“We want to warn teenagers of the dangers online and if we can get the message across to just one person, then it has been worthwhile,” Miss Brooks said.

“The internet is worldwide and the main thing is you don’t know who you are speaking to.

“You could be speaking to 14-year-old about the latest bands, gossip and programmes but it actually turns out to be 60-year-old man in a grubby bedsit.

“Unfortunately the predators that use the internet as their stalking ground have grown substantially in numbers and the best way of protecting children is to educate them.

“It is our hope that teenagers will have more of an impact than an adult would, they understand the online language and can deliver the message in a way that would appeal to them as too many children are becoming victims.”

Miss Brooks also emphasised that the film will include a specific object, that will remain symbolic throughout.

“The subject manner can be explicit, so we are using an apple which is being passed through screen to victim.

“It has a lot of symbolism with Apple computers and Snow White, for example, and it is great that so many people have got on board and shared their stories.”

The group is hoping to start filming during the summer holidays with the hope that the film will go live on social media sites by December.

In order to raise money to produce the film, the group are also hosting a UV lighting party is for 13 to 16-year-olds, which also includes a DJ.

It will take place on Wednesday, April 8 at The King Alfred on Burnt Hill Way.

Tickets cost £8 and are available from Humphrey Hair Do’s on St Peters Street, the Spar store in Pakefield, Allsorts on Oxford Road and Hi-Tech on London Road North.

Are you highlighting an important issue? Email reporer Joe Randlesome at joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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