The first edition of the Magazine was put together back in the autumn of 2000.
Funding was made available by the then Peckham Partnership and Southwark Youth Service. The Youth Service still fund the Project to this day.
Although the current base for the Project, the Sojourner Truth Centre was going to be used, it had no equipment. So how did the first issue get put together?
John worked with two young people Michael Stickland and Habib Ajiboye. Both went to the then Warwick Park Centre and had an interest in journalism. Michael and Habib are still involved with the Project to this very day.
Habibís first article was on Life in Peckham, whilst Michael wrote about his passion Arsenal. John also worked with boys from the BoyHood to Manhood Project on an article on Hip-Hop. The other pages were filled with articles on youth service events written by John.
For all this John had to beg and borrow computers to get the work done.
Pictures were sourced from all over the Youth Service. The cover shot was actually taken by the youth service manager Karl Murray. Whilst pictures of Michael playing football were taken at the Warwick Park Centre.
John then sketched out ideas for the page design and took this to a design and print studio. The Boys from SASS also contributed artwork. The pages were then worked on until ready.
When finalised 10,000 copies were printed and were distributed just before Christmas.
In the light of the murder of Damilola Taylor a few months earlier, they showed what Young People could do positively for their community.
From then on the Magazine went from strength to strength, our second issue with the Hip-Hop flavour cover became one of our favourites and most one of the most sought after. In fact does anyone have one?
By now more young people were working on the Magazine and interest was growing and growing.
Today we design 90% of each issue.
The planning cycle for each begins well in advance. The Magazine team meets every week to update on the stories they are working on, or on new stories that have come to our attention.
The team produces a flat plan of the issue, where each article, advert or photo is pencilled in. As the deadline comes closer this is finalised.
Photoshoots, where necessary have to be scheduled We have the same computer equipment as any commercial magazine or newspaper.
The Magazine uses Quark X-Press and PhotoShop. They enable us to create eye catching and complex pages.
Designers such as Damien are in great demand and do work for other youth service and council organisations.
We try to collaborate with other Projects, Borough and out of Borough organisations. People from Ireland to Westminster has contacted us for advice.
In 2003 we went Borough wide and the name changed from the Peckham Magazine Project to the Southwark Magazine Project. We have already covered writing from other parts of the Borough, not just Peckham and we hope to produce a Magazine that reflects the lives of all young people in Southwark.
The Magazine Project has now become a mini media enterprise as we have made a film. We have also produced a documentary, put together a poetry anthology and are in charge of developing a young personís website for young people in Southwark. In November we merged with the Music project to widen the opportunities on offer and are now based at Bellenden Old school, Bellenden rd, Peckham, SE15 4DG. Tel: 020 7639 4215.
To Get Involved
To get involved with the Southwark Young Peopleís Magazine phone: 0207 639 4215