Penwortham teen's inspiring drone video hits the BBC

A Penwortham Youtuber's inspiring drone video encouraging community spirit has proved so uplifting it has been featured on BBC News.

By Laura Longworth
Monday, 30th March 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 5:53 pm
He shot the Youtube video using his drone.
He shot the Youtube video using his drone.

Joe Gaughan, a Cardinal Newman College student, shot the footage of Abbot Meadow residents waving alongside colourful displays and messages, which they had created in their gardens, on Wednesday afternoon. He edited the footage that evening and posted it on Youtube.

The 18-year-old says his aim was to help unite the community and keep people feeling strong during lock-down.

Joe, who studies statistics, business and computer science, said: "My aim was to give people a bit of happiness and joy.

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"I wanted to give them hope and show solidarity at a time when people can't get out."

He adds that he was inspired to make the film after spotting rainbows on his neighbours' house, created by their children.

He then put letters through people's doors asking them to make vibrant garden displays.

And the community came out into their gardens in full force, with numerous residents joining in - one household even offered a touching tribute to NHS medics.

A still from the film showing the Abbot Meadow community offering an inspiring message of togetherness.

"Abbot Meadow is a nice, friendly street with people of all ages," said Joe.

"It's quite a close community and we get on well with all our neighbours."

He added: "One of them was a retired midwife, so she created a banner saying, 'We love the NHS.'

"It was nice she could have her own connection with the project, and use it as a platform."

Penwortham teenage Joe Gaughan has made an inspiring drone video encouraging togetherness during lock-down.

In fact, his mission proved so successful that his neighbour's son Tweeted the video to BBC journalist Sophie Raworth.

"It was mad. I was out in the garden and a neighbour said over the fence that the BBC are interested in it and that Sophie likes the video. I thought they were joking," said Joe.

But by Thursday evening, it was shown in living rooms up and down the country when it appeared on BBC News at Six.

"It was quite surprising - I really didn't expect it to reach that level, as I'd made it for people in the street to share with friends and family," he added.

A still from the film showing two residents offering a touching tribute to the NHS.

"My neighbours said they all loved it, and I've had letters through the door thanking me.

"Lock-down has not been too bad for me but I know some people have it really rough.

"My mum shared the video with her friends and a few of them have said they'd been feeling down and it cheered them up.

"I've also had comments on Youtube, and it's nice to know that people have connected with it."

The college student began making videos four years ago when he filmed super cars on his phone.

He then set up a Youtube channel documenting his travels, and invested in filming equipment, including a drone, as well as editing software.

Joe says his aim was to to bring people together and provide them with hope.

The budding film-maker added: "It's my hobby and passion to make videos, as it's such a good way to connect with people."