England - Positive message campaign
Target group: Wider society
Main goal of the project: Share the positive side of a life in care and challenge the negative stereotypes or perceptions people may have of care leavers
Short summary: The Young People’s Benchmarking Forum (YPBMF) part of Catch 22 National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum created a positive message campaign for care leavers on the photo sharing website flickr.
The idea for the project came from young people who felt that there was a negative stigma attached to being in care. The first stage of the project was to hold a balloon release during National Care Leavers Week in October 2011. During the week 12 local authorities took part releasing 100 biodegradable balloons with positive messages attached to them.
The flickr project is the second stage of the ‘positive message’ campaign. The aim was to collect 1,000 creative photos of positive messages from care leavers across the country, to give care leavers the opportunity to celebrate positive achievements, aspirations and experiences of their time in care.
The Young Peoples Benchmarking Forum asked young poeple in care and care leavers from accross the country to:
• think of a positive message about their achievements, aspirations or goals • find a creative way of taking a picture of that message while respecting everyone’s right to privacy (no pictures of names or faces) • send the photo's into the project e-mail address to be used in the campaign The YPBMF felt that there are many negative stories/images of care leavers adwanted to look at working on this issue as one of their work plan targets. Quote from a YPBMF member ‘We are fed up with hearing negative stories about young people’s experiences and the public perception that we are troublemakers and low achievers. Young people leaving care face so many challenges and they do not always receive the encouragement and praise that they deserve. We wanted to unite young people from care to celebrate our achievements and help put a stop to these attitudes.’ The third part of the project was to team up with ITV Fixers to create a video on the positive messages collected. Members of the YPBMF worked with ITV Fixers to make a short film to challenge negative statistics and stereotypes of care leavers. The film includes interviews with the public about their perceptions of care leavers and celebrates the achievements of care leavers.
Useful links (video’s, websites etc.): https://youtu.be/OBo26NoEebc - Broken - care leavers positive message video and https://www.flickr.com/people/nationalcareleaversweek/photosof/ - flickr account with all the messages Contact person & organization: firstname.lastname@example.org Catch 22