This film is closely linked to a research project which explored the lived experiences of welfare reform. Ruth Patrick, a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Leeds, set out in 2010 to explore attitudes towards, and experiences of, changes to the benefit system. This film has been directed and produced by some of the people that Ruth interviewed in the course of her research.
Research participants included single parents being moved off Income Support and onto Jobseeker’s Allowance, disabled people being migrated from Incapacity Benefit and onto Employment and Support Allowance and young people facing a more stringent Jobcentre Plus / welfare-to-work regime.
The idea for the film came about from the participants themselves. When Ruth was conducting the initial research they felt that their voices should be heard so Ruth managed to secure some funding from Awards for All to develop an animated film about their lived experiences of welfare reform.
The research participants worked with award winning documentary filmmaker Ellie Land and Ruth to develop their ideas about how the film should look, and what issues it should focus on. They have also been supported by student animators from Northumberland University David Burnett and Lauren Shepherd.
The wider research project is ongoing, but Ruth is now starting to publish her findings, and write up her conclusions.