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15 March 2008
Two short films produced by looked-after children as part of a University research project were the focal point of an event to celebrate the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Sciences.
Made as part the ‘Me, myself and I’ project, led by Dr Emma Renold and Dr Sally Holland of the School of Social Sciences, the films reveal different aspects of the day-to-day lives of children in care.
The young people decided what material they wanted to share with the researchers and recorded and produced the three minute films with the help of local film-maker and Cardiff PhD student Bambo Soyinka.
The two films, Marshmallow and Place in Me, were shown to an invited audience of young people in care at the event ‘Beyond Outcomes: The everyday lives of young people in care’ which was held at the Millennium Centre on Monday 10 March. The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Gwenda Thomas, AM also attended the event.
Other material produced for the project was also shown at the event, which was held as part of the nationwide Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Sciences (7-16 March 2008).
Dr Renold, of the School of Social Sciences said: "This project was a chance for the young people to produce their own accounts of their lives. Looked-after children are consistently discussed in terms of a range of social problems, but this research project enabled them to express themselves and the issues that are important to them."
‘Me, myself and I’ is run in conjunction with the children’s charity Tros Gynnal. Eight young people aged 10-20 living in foster, kinship care, or living independently as care leavers, took part in the project.
They were invited to explore any aspect of their everyday life by using video and digital cameras, scrapbooks, as well as art and writing material and music mixing on laptops.
"The young people learnt new skills throughout the project and it gave them the chance to tell us how we can understand their lives better," said Dr Renold. "We would like to build on our research and return to each of the participants, if they wish, for further projects in the near and far future."
Cardiff University’s commitment to supporting students who have spent time in care has recently been recognised with the Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark. The Quality Mark is awarded to universities for the support they provide for looked after children and people leaving care so they can progress into higher education.
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