A group of 12 young people in Slough have come together to launch three animated films which they have written, produced, directed and edited which depict their experience of being a young person in care.
NYAS – a national charity which provides information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to thousands of children and young people in care helped the young people to create the three films. The three animations are the product of a series of projects which will result in the creation of a number of films depicting what life is like in care.
NYAS secured funding from the Big Lottery “Reaching Communities” programme for the project – which has been given the name Digital Life Stories. The three films in Slough were created in conjunction with Slough Children’s Services Trust.
On Tuesday, the young people previewed the three animations at a launch event at The Curve in Slough. The animations are being launched across Facebook and other social media platforms and can also be view via the NYAS website (www.nyas.net) and Slough Children’s Services Trust’s website (www.scstrust.co.uk).
The purpose of the Big Lottery Funded programme is to engage with young people and provide them with the opportunity to express their views on their own experiences and voice how they feel their circumstances can be improved.
The programme offers a range of emotional benefits for the young people involved. The young people in Slough have said they feel more confident when engaging with their social workers and people in their lives and feel better able to express their wishes. The programme also offers strong educational benefits – with the young people being given the opportunity to develop their skills in production and film making. The young people involved received an AQA accreditation in animation, with their certificated presented to them on the day by Nicola Clemo, Slough Children’s Services Trust’s Chief Executive.
Rita Waters, CEO of NYAS said “NYAS has been providing support to thousands of children and young people who are in care for over 30 years and we are committed to ensuring they have the very best possible opportunities in life and their wishes and feelings are listened to.
“The Digital Life Stories project will enable more people to develop an awareness and understanding of what life can be like for young people in care. I would encourage everyone to watch the Digital Life Stories and share them with friends on Facebook and through their own social media channels to continue to raise awareness of the work NYAS and the positive effect it has on the lives and futures of the children and young people we represent”.
Nicola Clemo said: ‘The animations are fantastic. What struck me as I watched them was the generosity of spirit that our young people have shown, by putting others before themselves. They have made the films to help future children coming into care feel less anxious – using their own words and pictures – by helping them to understand what to expect and who is there to talk to and support them.’
Amit Mistri, a senior advocate at NYAS, and Sharon Stephenson, Participation Officer from Slough Children’s Services Trust, who jointly led the project in Slough.