A group of young people have helped create a film to break down the stigma around growing up in care. The children, who are all in the care of Derby City Council, shared their own views and experiences of the care system to shape the film.

The young people meet as part of Derby’s ‘Our Voice, Our Success’ group and the Derby Virtual School, which are both part of the Council. The idea to make a film came from 14-year-old Margita, who wanted to change the people’s views about what it means to be in care.

The Council’s Participation team, which supports Derby’s children in care, helped to take the idea forward and connected the young people with creatives from Derby Theatre. Around 15 youngsters took part in a series of workshops to produce the seven-minute animated film, which is called One Day. 

Margita said:

I had an idea about teaching children and adults what being in care is like. Some people feel ashamed of it because other kids don’t understand. People treat you differently and they always ask, ‘Is it like Tracy Beaker?’ But we’re no different from any other young person – we’ve just got different parents.

This film is really important to me. I feel excited to share my story and other people’s stories and I hope it changes how people think about being in care.

The young people involved in making One Day were invited to see the film for the first time at a red carpet screening at QUAD.

Tia, aged 15, said:

I’ve been in care for four years. The Virtual School has helped me to get involved in things and be with other young people who are in care. People that aren’t in care don’t know what it’s like.

We get judged and bullied because we’re not with our parents. I hope they will watch this and change how they think. I feel amazing to be part of something like this.

The animation has been showcased at the Virtual School Festival and will be shown at the National Association of Directors of Children’s Services Conference in July. Going forward, the Council is exploring how to use the film to educate and inform to provide a better understanding of the care experience.

Suanne Lim, Derby City Council’s Director of Early Help and Children’s Social Care, said:

Our fantastic care experienced young people have done a wonderful job with this film. What they’ve created is truly inspirational and conveys such a powerful message about what it's like in care. It’s really quite emotional to watch.

I want to say a huge well done to all the young people that were involved. We’re passionate about providing the right care and support for every child in the city and this project is a great example of how we collaborate with our partners to achieve that.

There are approximately 380 children of school age in care in Derby. Derby Virtual School is a service provided by a team of dedicated professionals to co-ordinate the educational needs of children in care and children previously in care. 

Working in partnership with schools, carers and social workers, they ensure that children in care receive the very best education possible to reach their potential in adult life. The school is 'virtual' because children and young people do not actually attend. They remain the responsibility of the school at which they are enrolled.

Graeme Ferguson, Headteacher of the Derby City Virtual School, said:

We have been delighted to support such an innovative project which has looked to capture the voices of young people who are care-experienced. This project continues our collaborative working relationship with the creative sector in Derby.

One Day is available to watch on Derby City Council's YouTube channel.