Digital arts and media projects created by local residents, largely from marginalised groups, will be showcased at the Design Centre Gallery in Sunderland on September 20th, 6.00pm and run through to noon Tuesday, September 27th.

The event has been made possible through the support of The University of Sunderland and Sunderland City council in particular.

Multi-award winning social enterprise Media Savvy CIC is committed to inspire hard-to-reach individuals through using non-traditional learning methods and a highly successful learning by stealth approach. The primary aims of their courses are to improve the employability prospects of the participants, many of whom who are facing multiple barriers to gaining meaningful and sustainable employment.

The company delivers digital arts and media based courses for disadvantaged people, including; offenders, mental health service users, those with learning / physical disabilities and the long-term unemployed. Many of their courses also include nationally recognised qualifications in either IT User Skills or Vocational Studies.

Managing Director Dan Makaveli, 34, a Sunderland university graduate said:

‘’ Shine_On is one of our major highlights of the year and our learners continue to amaze and astonish us with their fantastic achievements.

‘’During this year we reached a couple of key milestones as an organisation, including delivering our hundredth course and we have also exceeded a thousand learners enrolled.’’

After taking participation in the workshops, many of the learners have progressed into further employment and education.

One of Media Savvy’s past learners, Michael O, who is now a support tutor for the company said:

‘’Before coming on the course I had low self-esteem and suffered from depression. Since joining, these personal issues have improved, along with my Photoshop skills.

I have enjoyed being a support to my peers, which is a new skill. I had never used Premiere Pro before and now have a good working knowledge of the software. I am pleased with the outcomes overall.’’

In 2012, the Sunderland-based not-for-profit organisation was named ‘Best Start-up Business in the North East & Yorkshire’ from over 200 shortlisted, for the inaugural Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards.