Inspired Young People Close Children’s Media Conference

It is not every day you find yourself centre stage closing a prestigious conference, The Children’s Media Conference no less, but that is exactly where members of Show Me That I Matter, Shelly and Natasha found themselves this July 2017 at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.

They were invited to share their youth driven projects about the care experience with delegates made up of children’s television commissioners, producers and directors as well as a range of freelancers, app makers, website makers and creatives.

First Shelly challenged negative stereotypes about young people in care;

“I want to talk to you about the representation of Children in Care in the media – in the papers on the television and through film.  You see without doubt the messages that are portrayed are negative, and I do see the importance of highlighting those very horrifying statistics and messages. It makes society stop and it challenges organisations and policy makers to do something about it.

What you may not realise is the message that gave to me and thousands of other young people like me, children in care and care leavers of all ages.

You see I’ve never wanted to be that statistic , that number but it made me question my hopes , my dreams and my aspirations for a better me , for a better future.”


She continued powerfully;

“Negative portrayals encourage judgment and ignorance, they make us question who we can share our world with.

Would they think it was my fault I was in care?

Would their parents think I’m a bad influence?

Or would they not know how to take me?

Would they ask…“Is it like Tracy Beaker”? And “What did you do so wrong”?

So yes highlighting those statistics through media is important but for me so is highlighting the positives.”

Natasha then silenced the room reading her poem before challenging delegates with these words;

“Mental health is a hugely topical area at the minute and rightly so but amongst the generalised statistics did you see the one that says 70% of children in Care have a diagnosed mental health issue …

…  have you ever stopped and wondered why?

I’m going to ask you to try and imagine what its like to walk in our shoes for just a few minutes.

Imagine how you would feel  …… if you were taken from your family and all you have known and asked to live with a stranger?

Imagine how you would feel ……  if you were not able to see your little brother for another 3 weeks, the one you played with every night and read a story too?

Imagine how you would feel….. if suddenly the worker you knew,  who you trusted and had shared everything with  suddenly  left and you had to repeat it all again , to a stranger?

It’s hard to imagine, but that’s why projects such as Aspire to More and A Care Story are so important.

They tell our story how we want it to be told, they give us a platform they allow us to be heard”

Delegates heard about A Care Story, Music4Care and Aspire To More, projects driven by care experienced young people and designed to tackle stigma and raise aspirations.

The young people did an amazing job on the day under such pressure showing a  professional attitude and speaking with power and inspiration!

A video of the presentation is being edited by the conference, please watch for updates to see the presentation for yourself!


Care Story set to showcase at Children’s Media Conference

Ambassadors for York’s children and young people in care are set to showcase some of their media projects at the Children’s Media Conference. Show Me That I Matter will join Inspired Youth to close the conference in a presentation to delegates in The Last Word.

The program reads:

“Can we replace limitation, lack of expectation and frustration with inspiration, aspiration and personal satisfaction?  Are we open to the challenge?”

Natasha and Shelly will share work from a range of youth-led Inspired Youth projects including Arts4Care, Music4Care, Aspire To More and their most recent project A Care Story.

Along side examples of their work both Shelly Reed and Natasha Woodrow will represent SMTIM and all care experienced young people by speaking to an audience of 250+ delegates made up of producers, writers, directors, commissioners and professionals from the children’s television industry.

Natasha will read a poem she wrote as part of A Care Story, created during workshops along side lyricist and artist Liam Kritikal Powers.

From the age of 10, my life was broken,

And all of my possessions were rudely taken,

Always trying, but end up bleeding,

Watching others cope I think they’re cheating.

The achievement comes following a string of awards and media coverage for the co produced projects, which put real experiences at the heart of creating powerful campaigns.

A youth driven design

A group of inspirational young people from care backgrounds have been working with Inspired Youth in partnership with a designer Se7en to create a vision for a booklet that will showcase “A World Of Good”, a powerful coproduced story written by acclaimed author Paolo Hewitt.

Based on concepts, ideas and visions from young people, developed though creative workshops, the group have been working on creating a resource for children and young people in care.  The story “A World Of Good” aims to reduce mental health stigma and grow understanding about the care journey and the impact the experience can have on a young persons mental health.

For the front cover the young people came up with the idea of a jar, which contained elements of the story. Se7en mocked up some conceptual designs to allow the team to develop their ideas and feedback on where they would like to take their design.


We printed out mock ups to give young people the opportunity to give honest feedback and take ownership of the product. The project is a genuine coproduction meaning the group have full control and influence over every aspect of the work. image1.JPGimage3.JPGThe booklet contains the powerful “A World of Good” story as well as introductions to the partners and some statistics to add context to the story. The booklet will be presented to all young people in care in York as well as those entering care in the future.image1.JPGOnce the booklet has been designed it will be printed to a high standard. It is hoped that as well as young people, the story will also inspire professionals working with children and young people in care.mockup.two

Keep following the blog for more updates #AWorldOfGood #Aspire2more #Acarestory

Funded by JRF