Oladamola Babalola (Mr. Babz), CEO of Freshrb C.I.C., was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma on the 23rd of December 2009. Through his experience with chemotherapy treatment, he discovered his passion for video production as he took on this extracurricular activity whilst under treatment. This enabled him to take his mind off treatment and build skills that have become the core services of the social enterprise, Freshrb. Post-treatment, Freshrb was birthed in 2013 and further registered as a community interest company in August 2014.
Freshrb C.I.C. is a multifaceted Video Production Company 'with a cause'. The company has a community vision to provide creative studio spaces for marginalised young people (health-wise or ability-wise) in the Greater Manchester region. These industry standard studio spaces and workshops will serve as therapeutic hot spots geared to raise self-confidence, teach media skills and reduce loneliness in the lives of these young people through the common love of media.
“Being creative is a great outlet and helps to take your mind off things, so I wanted to provide a service that can help encourage this .”
oladamola babalola - BDaily Publication | oct 2014
A Case Study
Kondwani Chirwa (Director) was diagnosed with CVS (Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome) in 2010 for over a period of 2 years. This rendered him incapable of completing his studies beyond his Bachelor's degree. Overcoming the pain and discomfort of the illness was a very challenging time for him, but those closest to him all noticed one distinct thing: it was not his pain that got him down, it was the fact that he could not progress as he would have loved to in his career.
In 2013 however, months after being later declared a sufferer of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). He learnt how to manage his energy towards the completion of tasks, enabling him to take up a freelancing role at Freshrb C.I.C.
At Freshrb C.I.C, Kondwani has brought his passion, insight and problem-solving skills, to deliver financial insight and publicity expertise. This was a breath of fresh air and we soon discovered his condition progressing for the better as he became more energetic as the days went on.
Freshrb has offered Kondwani an opportunity to have a role in spite of his condition, and we can see that his condition has started to improve based on purpose behind the venture. Freshrb in itself has been a therapeutic venture for Kondwani and we are amazed at how much of a blessing this is, not just for him but for us as a company. We look forward to having more testimonies like this for people with mitigating circumstances who work for Freshrb.
“It’s fantastic to work with Oladamola and Freshrb...supported by someone who also understands the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and going through treatment.”
Phil Day (National Music Coordinator CLIC SArgent) | nov 2014
Previous Media Workshops and Community Collaborations
Small Moston Cinema (SEP programme):
We showcased our short film at this cinema. This short film tackles a significant issue that affects about 1 in 6 women. We are bringing this to the forefront and are raising the awareness of this issue in the community. This story is inspired by real life statistics.
This event will include the following
The Screening of Taylor's Shadow
- Spoken Word Performance
- A talk raising this issue
- Q and A session for the crew behind the short film
Higher Folds Community Centre Video Production Workshops:
Freshrb currently run video production workshops with young people at the Higherfolds Community Centre in Leigh, Wigan. These workshops have been funded by the Big Lottery which enables these young people to have a social prescription geared to raise self-confidence, teach media skills and reduce loneliness in the lives of this selected community through the common love of video production.
CLIC Sargent Music Workshop:
Freshrb organised, hosted and delivered a creative music programme called The Freshrb Music Workshop, which partnered up with ROC (Redeeming Our Community) and CLIC Sargent (Charity for children with cancer). This programme was geared towards the following objectives for young people suffering or surviving cancer.
This 12 week programme enrolled a group of young people diagnosed with cancer, developed each individual in their music specialty, and brought them together to create a collective masterpiece.
CLIC Sargent Wiltshire Music Workshops:
A residential music workshop, that took place from the 8th-12th of August 2016. Freshrb C.I.C. assisted CLIC Sargent in hosting music workshops and capturing video footage from this week-long workshop.
Pure Innovations Radio:
Freshrb were very privileged to have been invited to Pure Innovations Radio Station (Pure FM) to visit the One Voice team to talk about the creative workshops we have been running with young people diagnosed with cancer at Freshrb Studios. Further partnerships with Pure innovations are in the pipeline and we are looking forward to what shall flourish from this.
Have a listen to this exclusive radio interview - Pure FM