A FILM about children’s rights made by young people in Leicester has won a prestigious award.
The film – called Was Not Heard – has won a Children & Young People Now award in the category of recruitment and professional development.
It means the film has been recognised by the biggest national awards programme in the youth and children’s work sector. It has been singled out by judges as the project that made the biggest contribution to boosting recruitment and the status of work with children, young people and families.
Was Not Heard was made in Leicester with the support of youth workers at Leicester City Council, in association with local film-makers Badshoes Film. It was funded by NHS England and the Safeguarding Partnership Boards of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The film highlights the rights of children to have their voices heard, be listened to by adults and to have their views and opinions considered and respected by decision-makers. In doing so, the film is highlighting Article 12 of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states ‘I have the right to be listened to, and taken seriously’.
The film was devised by young people from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and received a virtual ‘premiere’ in July 2020. It was written by 17-year-old Yasmin Allen with narration and performances from 12 young actors aged from six to 17.
Yasmin said: “By listening to youth voices, adults can become the bridge between our problems and support. Not listening and not acting on what you hear doesn’t just break trust, the consequences are that you leave young people in a vulnerable position. The message of this film is that it’s time to listen more carefully.”
Cllr Sarah Russell, deputy city mayor responsible for social care, said: “It’s fantastic news that Was Not Heard has won a Children & Young People Now award. This is a really powerful film that demonstrates how important it is that we listen to the children and young people we work with.
“I am so proud of our local young people who came up with the idea for the film and delighted our brilliant participation team could support them to make it happen.
“The fact that we were up against The National Youth Agency, a national organisation, for this award shows just how ground-breaking and ambitious our work in Leicester is. The film has also been recognised by UNICEF, so it’s had international exposure. It’s amazing to think that something made in Leicester is having such a far-reaching impact.”
Was Not Heard is also being used as a training tool for professionals who work with children and young people. The film has recently been included in an online Psychological First Aid course for practitioners across children’s services, produced by Public Health England. So far, more than 30,000 professionals have enrolled onto the course.
To view the film, click here.