Inspiring stories perfect for a post-pandemic feel-good pick me/you up.
“Skem, I Love You” is a new kind of reality TV exploring the lives of people making a difference in their community.
Skelmersdale, with a population of 38,000 is a small town just outside Liverpool. Originally a mining village, Skem was designated a New Town in 1961 and was redesigned to house the overspill population from north Merseyside.
Skem suffers from social problems but helping to tackle those inequalities and struggles are some of the most respected social enterprise businesses in the UK. Skelmersdale is a leader in this field, with multiple award-winning people doing some of the most amazing work.
Expect to see big personalities going on incredible journeys of self-discovery, a community uniting in its efforts to heal after the pandemic.
"Skem, I Love You" will be full of warmth, humour, hope and maybe most importantly of all, love.
skem men aces fc
Husband and wife, Carl and Mim run the Skem Men Aces with such love and commitment it is more than a football club, it is a family.
Prior to the pandemic The Men Aces were training once a week and competing in football tournaments all over the UK. As the pandemic took hold all of this had to stop.
The team is made up of players with physical or learning disabilities. Because of this most squad members are self-isolating so that means a year of solitude. Carl and Mim have been left bereft.
Like true-local heroes they have kept on giving through the lockdown. Mim has been fundraising for food banks by running multiple marathons, Carl has been fundraising by having a Tarantula crawling all over him, his biggest fear. Carl has also written a book inspired by how his granddaughter views his disability, called "My Gan-Gan's Pram".
Post-pandemic we will follow this inspirational squad of players as they re-unite and train for the first time in over a year. Clearly, this will be an emotional event. We chart the re-bulding of the club as they pick up the pieces and try to get back to where they were. We meet the team just as they are about to go on this brand new adventure.
birchwood junk food cafe
The Birchwood Junk Food Cafe is an award-winning social enterprise feeding the Skelmersdale community.
The Birchwood Junk Food Cafe is led by charismatic chef Ian, who shares his ethos of inclusion and ecology taking food donations and feeding the community at a pop-up cafe, where people pay what they feel and take home a bag of shopping.
Pre-pandemic the pop-up cafe played a crucial part in providing a safe and supportive environment for the Skem community. Since lockdown Ian and the team have been delivering thousands of meals per day to vulnerable people all over the town, ensuring no-one goes hungry on their watch.
Post-pandemic Ian has big plans for the Birchwood Junk Food Cafe; his ambition is to continue feeding the community in their numerous pop-up cafe's, eventually leading to a mobile food truck that can rock up anywhere to help to spread their message of food ecology and love.
The Birchwood Junk Food Cafe also have wonderful links with Skelmersdale's refugee community who regularly contribute to Syrian food events.
blank space theatre
Stand Up Comedian Dan and his Drama Therapist wife Emma run Blank Space Theatre and are responsible for some of Skem's most innovative community work.
Before the pandemic TV company keeponmovin' and Blank Space Theatre were collaborating on a stand-up comedy project designed to help tackle the rise in violent crime in Skem. Running a series of workshops that engage with Skem's young people, we aimed to promote community cohesion and social inclusion. As well as giving everyone involved lasting skills and experiences.
Post-pandemic we will continue with our project idea. Drawing on the skills and experience of Dan and Emma as well as guest lectures from notable figures in the comedy, music and acting circuit, we will give our young people the performance skills, writing tools and confidence they'll need to share their lives in a positive, dynamic and powerful way. The culmination of our project is a series of performances by our young people given for the local community, family and peers.
We may even discover a future comedy star, or two.
Divine Days are an award-winning social enterprise working with people with learning and physical disabilities in dance, performance and the arts.
Divine Days perform all over the UK and compete in numerous dance competitions.
Leader Katie is a firm believer in giving all people an opportunity to shine.
Since the pandemic, with most of Katie's dancers self-isolating, Katie is desperate to be re-united. We capture that first rehearsal for the first time in over a year and we follow their progress as they work on new performances in time for the national competitions.
Katie is an inspiring leader with such an infectious positivity that it spills over into her dancers. Divine days have big plans for a post pandemic world, bringing their unique brand of dance and love to the nation.
Midstream is an award winning social enterprise garden centre working with people with learning disabilities and other special needs
Each year Midstream compete at the prestigous Southport Flower Show. This is an opportunity for their talented staff to demonstrate their incredible skills on a national level. This is a mainstream competition with Midstream taking the gold medal on four occasions in the past.
Post-pandemic we follow Midstream as they plan and prepare for their current challenge to re-claim their gold medal.
the sewing rooms
Run by Paula and Maureen, The Sewing Rooms is an upholstery business providing training opportunities through unique project ideas. During the pandemic the team have been producing tens of thousands of protective masks for corporate clients, local nursing homes, and the wider skem community.
Post-pandemic The Sewing Rooms will tackle directly the isolation that the older community has faced during the lockdown by running a fashion design and fashion show project. The older community will be given the skills to design their own outfit, which will be showcased in a communtiy fashion show where they get to strut their stuff.