MEMBERS of the Things Tae Dae group in Cumnock are now stars of stage and screen.

Following their drama about hate crime, they have made a DVD which re-enacts verbal and physical attacks and their consequences.

An exclusive screening was arranged for the Chronicle at the group’s regular meeting prior to it being shown throughout the community.

The hard-hitting DVD will be taken round local schools to show the impact hate crime has on victims who may find it difficult to cope with such cruelty.

Maureen Preston, who runs the group, said: “I think it will be beneficial for the kids to actually see what the victims have had to go through.

“Some of the words used in the DVD are quite brutal but that is what the guys have had to experience throughout their lives.

“It is their words and their scenarios and that is the way that they wanted it.

“I find it difficult to repeat some of the words and those taking part also found it hard — these words are so hurtful and degrading.”

This proved to be a challenge as Maureen and her team had to emotionally support the members through the process and take breaks from filming.

She added: “We would go to the pictures, to keep the fun aspect of the group.

“From start to finish, it took about a year-and-a-half to make the DVD.

“We went to Sky TV Academy in Livingston to film the first part, which was a fantastic experience, although it took a wee while for the guys to get used to it, such as reading words off the big screen as well as all the cameras.

“But after Sky changed their policy to only help younger groups, we received participatory budget finance to film it ourselves.

“It was also decided to film in our local community and the people of Cumnock were fantastic — one scene looks like Jack and Victor walking back and forward in the background.

“Although it was filmed in Cumnock, it is a safe place for our members. People are so welcoming and we make this clear in the DVD.”

Things Tae Dae Local News is the DVD’s title and the professional production starts with an introduction from a newsreader about an incident in Cumnock.

Reporters Martin Waddell and John Irvine are shown at The Square interviewing a member of the public, played by Robert Kay, who graphically describes a hate crime.

From there, we go to the bus station where Grace, Adam and Kevin report on ‘brutal people’.

Cumnock’s Community cops, Lynsey and George, also appear as themselves, dealing with a hate-filled attack on an innocent victim.