This article was first published in Exeter Life Magazine, since then my son has started at Tubers. I will update you on what it is like in a few weeks – as they say; ‘the proof is in the pudding’.
Tucked away on a road off Mary Arches Street is one of Exeter’s newest and most exciting start-ups, a mecca for the South West’s rising video stars.
According to co-founder Nick Ellison, Tubers has been called “the Brit School for Youtube’ and as an ex student of the former myself, I can see exactly what they mean. Spunky and vibrant, with a variety of rooms kitted out for recording, editing and playing, Tubers is a very exciting offering indeed. It’s the first of its kind in the UK, and, in my humble opinion, the owners really have nailed it.
“But what exactly is Tubers?” you may ask. It’s a YouTube creators academy, catering for 7-18 year olds, educating them in video production, editing, gaming, internet safety and, of course, using YouTube. The brainchild of two Social Media professionals (and self-confessed geeks), Nick Ellison and Jim Rowe, Tubers is what contemporary media education should look like. They seem to have struck on something: local schools are already queuing up to find ways to work together and all the current courses at the hub are completely sold out, such is the demand.
It’s such a good idea that I had to ask the founders: Why hasn’t anyone thought of it before? Nick pointed out that “comms with kids can be tricky”. It’s a bit of a minefield, the internet has taken us through an ever-changing, ever-updating journey into the unknown and schools, councils, police and parents are finding it (unsurprisingly) hard to keep up. Nick explained that they have been working hard with Virtually Safe and the local police to make sure the safeguarding is in place, each child signs a behaviour agreement and all mentors are given rigorous training.
Not only are the team at Tubers UK set to educate the next generation, they also take on locally sourced interns from a broad range of backgrounds who do three shifts a week in exchange for experience, expenses, support and mentoring on their own projects.
If your son or daughter is a wannabe Tuber, signing them up will cost around £10 per week. For this, they get a weekly training session and the opportunity to book in to use the facilities or just hang out in the communal area — reminiscent of a Byker Grove style youth club with table football and bean bags. There are currently 70 members attending and it’s fully booked with a waiting list! They have been completely inundated with interests and requests so be prepared for a little wait. But it’ll be worth it. You can find more information on their website tubersuk.com
Staggering Youtube statistics
• YouTube has over a billion users (which equates to almost a third of all people on the Internet)
• Every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos and generate billions of views.
• More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
• YouTube has launched local versions in more than 88 countries.
• You can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population).
(stats from youtube.com)