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#NotWithoutMe : A Caring Initiative

FURNESS and SOUTH CUMBRIA children in care are being given cameras to record their experiences and thoughts as part of an innovative new project.

In January we launched our new #NotWithoutMe initiative, which aimed to see looked after young people tell the world about their needs and the challenges they face through film. The scheme equipped the young people with video recording, editing and script writing skills through workshops this offered them the chance to express their feelings. What the children produced is currently being edited and there will be a conference screening to adults in the care system.

Funding award: The project is mainly funded by CarnegieUK Trust and we also received the backing of the Barrow Community Trust, a branch of Cumbria Community Foundation, which has granted organisers £5,000 to run the workshops and offer expert tuition.

‘Digital is increasingly becoming the bread and butter of everything we do; it’s how we communicate, how we consume our news, how we shop and how we entertain ourselves.’ 

Our workshops have included young people on the cusp of care, in care and who have left care. Topics have included online mind-mapping, being safe online, downloading and saving files, interview skills, presenting and speaking skills, vlogging and using green-screen. They’ve been blogging their experiences on their #NotWithoutMe website.

We’ve also run a workshop with the adults in their lives, like care workers and foster carers, to guide their knowledge of all things digital.

We’ve passed our half-way mark, and are currently creating a film with participants, to promote the digital skill needs of young people in care.

We have plans to work more closely with a group of girls in a local care-home. They have helped to devise a script for a short film about online dating, which we will soon be shooting. The girls will be shown editing techniques, will upload the video online and add the link to their CV.

Finally, we’re planning a conference to screen all the films and feed back to partner organisations and care-workers on the digital needs of young people in care.