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Running on Fumes

1st Oct 2020 15th Mar 2021

Running On Fumes explores St Helens High Street through the voices and perspectives of 10 young people

Project Details
  • Young People,
  • Place
Creative Team
  • Filmmaker: Caroline Smith
  • Collaborators: Caitlin, Georgia, Hayley, Keeno, Lori-Marie, Louise, Nikkita, Sandy, Tyler, Vincent
  • Children and Young People's Producer: Kate Houlton
  • Producer: Rhyannon Parry

What does the high street offer young people in St Helens? How has COVID impacted their community? What are their hopes for the future? Ten young people share their voices and perspectives in this short film.

Running On Fumes has been created by Caroline Smith in collaboration with ten young people in St Helens. Aided by photographs and materials from St Helens Archive Service, the group worked together to devise a powerful piece of creative-writing which explores their experiences of St Helens High Street, the impact of Covid-19, and their hopes for the future.

A photograph of a McDonalds with the words 'Everyone Groups Together' in large, lilac coloured capital letters.
A photograph of a concrete car park with the words 'Sense of Community' in large, blue capital letters.

Commissioned by Historic England as part of Future of the High Street; a series of ten new short films organised by a range of UK arts organisations and created by contemporary filmmakers in collaboration with young creatives.

Future of the High Street is one of seven activity strands that form Historic England’s Cultural Programme for 2020 – 2024, a four-year national programme led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Running on Fumes is available to watch online from Thursday 8 April.

A huge thanks to all collaborators including staff at University Centre St Helens for their support with this project and to the teams at St Helens Archive Service and Historic England Archive for allowing the use of archive images and material as part of the creative workshops and in the film.

Running on Fumes at the Gathering Momentum Conference

Recently, we were invited by Engage to talk about Running on Fumes at the Gathering Momentum Conference, March 2023.

Running on Fumes - Tea & Chat was played as part of a presentation by filmmaker Caroline Smith and Children and Young People’s Producer Kate Houlton about the project. In the film, Lori-Marie (one of ten creative collaborators involved in making Running on Fumes) and Caroline discuss their experiences about making the work, with Gathering Momentum Young Producers Lottie and Emily, and Lucy, programme facilitator for Engage.

You can access full recordings from the event via the Engage website.

Caroline Smith