Education

Children's mental health charity launches series of activity videos supporting children in care

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: July 3, 2024 | Updated: 3rd July 2024

Stormbreak, a Poole-based charity supporting positive mental health in children through movement, has launched a series of activity videos aimed at children in care.

Called ‘Voices Through the Storm’, the video series has been developed for primary-aged children growing up away from their birth families; in foster care, kinship or connected arrangements and adopted families.

The videos were written, directed and presented by six children with lived experience of growing up in care, and share tips to promote positive mental health.

Filmed and edited by Bournemouth University students and funded by the Talbot Village Trust and The Alice Ellen Cooper-Dean Foundation, the videos will be shared for free for young people to use and engage with in support of their mental health.

BCP Council supported the videos as active members of the project team.

Stormbreak is a charity that promotes mentally healthy movement in children and young people, and videos and resources created by Stormbreak are regularly used in school and education settings to support children’s mental health.

Stormbreak founder and CEO Martin Yelling said at the launch event, “We want to help children and young people face their futures with hope, optimism, excitement, courage and confidence and have the skills to emotionally and physically flourish. We know that children and young people are the experts of their own experiences and we’re really thankful to these young people for stepping up and allowing us into their minds and worlds.”

Tal Lazar, a Media Production Student at Bournemouth University, worked as a camera operator and technical assistant on the project, filming the videos.

Tal said: “We worked closely with the charity, trying to help the kids feel as comfortable as possible in a situation they might not have been in before.

“The kids were all very easy to work with, as they seemed excited to share their thoughts. This was a testament to the team at Stormbreak, being able to keep the kids so comfortable within the work environment, as well as entertained throughout the day with activities. It feels very rewarding and satisfying to know the product will help others in any way possible.”

Nick Ashley-Cooper, Chairman at Talbot Village Trust, said: “In 2022, England’s Children’s Commissioner reported that almost half of all UK children had grown up outside of traditional family living circumstances.

“It’s been a pleasure to support Stormbreak and Bournemouth University in developing such a thought provoking and powerful project that aims to improve mental health for young people with experience of living in care or away from their birth families.

“It’s especially poignant that the videos have been written, directed, and presented by people who’ve themselves experienced growing up in care.”

Paul Sinton-Hewitt, founder of parkrun and trustee of Stormbreak, said: “We’ve seen that it is possible for young people who are really struggling in life to find their way with a little bit of help, encouragement, and some tools, which allow them to have a break in the storm.”

A launch event took place at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality stadium, with the first of the videos shared with the children and their invited guests.

Paul continued: “The result is phenomenal, what we’ve seen tonight [at the launch event] is showcasing six young people who have had the most complex start in life, and they have acted with complete decorum as ultimate professionals and produced something that everyone in this room was delighted with and proud of.”

More information from Stormbreak and the BCP Council team about the project can be found on the Stormbreak website: https://www.stormbreak.org.uk/videos/promocontent/p-1142

The videos will soon be available for other fostering agencies and local authorities to share at www.stormbreak.org.uk.

For more information about Stormbreak’s Together programme with children in care and in children’s services get in touch with Stormbreak project director Kate Bone: [email protected].

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