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Launch of CD produced by children in care

Article By: Devon County Council

A CD of 11 music tracks, written, recorded and packaged by young people in care, with the support of Devon County Council, has been produced.

'Listen To Our Words' is the title of the CD compilation, which features music compiled and performed by a group of young people in care, supported by Devon County Council.

Around 30 young people were involved from singing and writing the lyrics to performing the music, including MCing and beatbox drumming. Tracks including titles 'It's more than you'll ever know?', 'Faces Changing', and 'Don't Control Me' derive from the lyricists' life experiences.

The recording sessions provided a range of interactive opportunities for the young musicians involved. Facilitated by youth workers, they were given the chance to take part in singing and drama sessions, or have a go at beat boxing or DJing. The drama sessions were used to generate ideas for lyrics and also give the young people the chance to share information and experiences in a relaxed environment.

In partnership with DAISI (Devon Arts in Schools initiative), the young people also designed the CD sleeve and logo, working with a visual artist and contributing ideas and opinions which resulted in the final design.

Funding for the project, which has been a year in the making, came from the Youth Opportunities Fund and Youth Bank, with support from the Fountain Youth Centre and Devon County Council's Youth Service, which provided the accommodation.

Devon County Council's Lead Youth Participation Worker for Children in Care, Mark Goodman, said: "This series of workshops offered young people opportunities to engage with their peers, harness their creative and musical skills and see an extremely worthwhile project through to its completion."

The CD will be officially launched at the Stand Up Speak Out meeting on Saturday, April 9, where Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member with responsibility for children in care will be given a copy of the CD and be shown a documentary DVD of the making of the CD. Tracks from the CD were also used as the soundtrack for the Children in Care Awards last week.

Councillor Andrea Davies said: "Young people's feedback from these sessions has been really positive - they enjoyed the range of opportunities on offer from drama workshops to bongo drum playing, and also welcomed the chance to make new friends and share experiences.

"The end result is this CD, which is, in itself, a real accomplishment, but is also a moving and poignant snapshot of the lives of these young people."

Beth Wakefield, 17, was one of the contributors to the CD. Beth said: "The music has come from us, about how we feel and how we expect others to treat us - with respect."