Life in care: York youngsters reveal the truth in words and music

A strong message in a still from the music video
28 Mar 2014 @ 7.44 am
| News
A strong message in a still from the music video
A strong message in a still from the music video

Youngsters brought up in care have written an inspirational song about their experiences, with the help of creative professionals in the city.

The song, due to be performed publicly for the first time next week, emerged from The Springboard Music4Care Project.

This teamed up young people from York and North Yorkshire who are or were in care with rap artist Liam “Kritikal” Powers to create a new track which could soon be released on iTunes.

Working alongside digital media producers Inspired Youth and Access To Music, Kritikal and the young team wrote the track.

Then, with the team at Digital Sun Media and Rack Mount Records, they recorded and produced it in a professional studio.

The story in the song is based on real events and experiences shared by the group.

I hope it reaches out to other people and shows them they are not alone

After the music was finished, the young people worked with Inspired Youth to shoot a video for the track.

Both song and video will be shown for the first time at a special launch night at York St John University on Tuesday, April 1.

Special guests include the Lord Mayor of York Julie Gunnell, and national music journalist and author Paolo Hewitt, who was also brought up in care.

The group work on the lyrics
The group work on the lyrics
In the studio to record and mix the song
In the studio to record and mix the song
The sign says it all… another still from the video
The sign says it all… another still from the video

We asked some of the young people involved to tell us about their experience of life in care, and what the Springboard project meant to them.

What are your first memories of going in to care?

Izzy Turner: “My first memory is being taken out my lesson, and told that I was going into care by my headteacher at the time. The next memory of this is when I was taken to my foster mum’s house.

“It was very strange and it felt like I was being forced to go somewhere I didn’t really wanna be.”

Dean, 23: “I felt lost and horrible.”

Danny (Dean’s brother), 21: “I remember a long drive, feeling numb.”

Kieron Shepherd: “Getting dragged out of my dad’s house and being taken to a care home. I was four or five years old at the time.”

How would you describe being in care to someone who knows nothing about it?

Izzy: “It’s like being told you have to go sit in a room, you cannot move, talk or even breathe without being told that you can do so.”

Dean: “I loved it – it started a new life and felt stable. At first I hated it though. I was looked after better and had a new home.”

Danny: “Disorientating and confusing.”

Kieron: “It’s pot luck whether you have a good or bad experience. It could either be really good or really shit, you just don’t know where you’ll end up.”

Describe your experience of the Springboard Music4Care project

Izzy: “It’s made me realise that out in the world, there are people who want to listen to our views and do something about them. It’s been an amazing project.”

Dean: “I really enjoyed the project, it reaches out to young people about what care can be like.”

Danny: “Brilliant. It’s been a good opportunity to see new things and to hear other peoples views and experiences of care.”

Kieron: “I didn’t get to be involved as much as I would of liked because I was expected to be at other appointments with other people. I did get to some of the sessions and I liked it.”

What impact has the song had on you – and what do you hope it will achieve?

Izzy: It means our voices will be heard in some way. I hope the song will reach out to other generations of children and young people in care as well as helping people who aren’t in care understand what it is like.

Dean: “It is great to be part of something, I never thought I would – I can’t wait for the launch. I hope people watch it and get informed.”

Danny: “It had positive impact on me. It made me feel better that I have got it all out. I hope it reaches out to other people and shows them they are not alone.”

Kieron: “I’m going to the Access To Music open day on April 2 to see if there is anything that I might want to get involved in.”

What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

Izzy: “I hope to go onto Uni and study business as well as another course. This is because I wish to open my own business when I am older in either performing arts and/ or baking.”

Dean: “To get a nice job and settle down.”

Danny: “To get good grades at college and go on to a good career.”

Kieron: “I want to open my own business and earn my own money. I want to be happy.”