Hear Our Voice Launch

Funded by the Arts Council of Wales, Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf Service, Valley and Vale Community Arts launched the exhibition entitled ‘Hear our Voice’ at the Wales Millennium Centre.

This exhibition is about young people’s experiences, their relationships, the dangers of sexual exploitation and how through the therapeutic arts they have been able to explore, process and overcome traumatic events.

The Seraf Service and Valley and Vale Community Arts have been working alongside TAN dance in using dance as not only an art form but as a educational tool for raising awareness about Child Sexual Exploitation. The dance group opened the event with a powerful piece about sexual exploitation.

As part of the exhibition we showed three films made by young people directly affected by child sexual exploitation.

I was 12, My Story, Getting Through

Lisa Ambrose (Therapeutic Arts Co-ordinator from ARTS4U) and Katja Stiller (filmmaker and counsellor from Valley and Vale Community Arts), used a person centred approach whereby young people are central to the experiential process, enabling them to process past painful and traumatic events.

The young people were able to creatively express and visually explore through film making their past memories and experiences. This empowering process enabled them to not only express themselves and their feelings, but also to regain a sense of control in their lives.

A place to stay! Somewhere safe to be!

A Place to stay! Somewhere safe to be! is a short monologue written by Emma James (Manager of Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf Service) based on her experience working with boys who have been sexually exploited. Directed by Ali Franks (Drama Development worker) the talented actor Brandon Ashford moved the audience by giving a seldom heard account of a young mans experience of child sexual exploitation.

As part of our Preventative Work we worked with a group of ten young people from the Czech Roma community around raising awareness of risks of child sexual exploitation. The sessions were held over a six-month period and focused on identifying negative and positive relationships, building self-esteem and how to keep safe. The girls had the opportunity to explore and to express themselves using different art forms. Their work, dance, music, art, creative writing all come together in their video ‘I am a girl’.