Teenager helps tackle domestic violence

Victoria NichollsA gifted teenager from Waveney has helped tackle domestic violence by creating an inspiring brand identity for a support group.Endless hours of volunteer work by graphic design student Bradley Bell, 17, have resulted in a striking new look for Waveney Domestic Violence & Abuse Forum.Victoria Nicholls

A gifted teenager from Waveney has helped tackle domestic violence by creating an inspiring brand identity for a support group.

Endless hours of volunteer work by graphic design student Bradley Bell, 17, have resulted in a striking new look for Waveney Domestic Violence & Abuse Forum.

Although his brief was to come up with a new identity for the voluntary organisation, which offers training and raises awareness of domestic violence, his creative juices took him way beyond simply designing a standard logo.

He threw himself into creating a website with a radical design, which features a slogan he came up with, Open Your Heart. He has depicted the concept using photographs of people forming a heart shape with their hands.

Bradley, from Blythburgh near Southwold, took the photos of members of the public on the streets of Norwich to demonstrate his new symbol for change, hope and speaking out.

He took on the project after being approached by a family friend who is involved in the forum, and has submitted it as part of his coursework for his BTEC at Norwich City College.

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'I never realised how common domestic violence was,' he said. 'I really hope that this can help people.'

The former Bungay High pupil, who is to start a degree at Chelsea Arts School in September, said he hoped Open Your Heart would be picked up by similar support groups across country.

'What I found really excited me was the branding and giving something a new concept,' he said. 'I think Open Your Heart has the foundations to be really big.'

His work astonished and impressed volunteers from the Forum, which had a defunct logo from the 1970s and no website.

Co-ordinator Maureen Duckworth said the new branding, together with the opening of an office at the Kirkley Centre in Lowestoft, would be a springboard for the group to apply for charitable status, which would open doors to funding.

She said the website meant that the group's message would reach many more people across Waveney.

'We are overjoyed with what he has done,' she said. 'He has come up with the most amazing logo and website. We can't thank him enough.'

She added: 'He is a very talented young man.'

She said the launch of the website and an accompanying poster campaign was timely, just ahead of the football World Cup, which traditionally sees an increase in domestic violence.

Bradley's work on this project and others is being displayed at the Forum in Norwich as part of a graphic design show today, tomorrow and Wednesday.

Visit the website at www.openyourheart.org.uk