What issues affect children and young people today? On our blog, our volunteers, staff, leaders and the young people we work with share their experiences and tackle the issues. Let us know what you think – leave a comment or send us a message about what you find on our blog.
'We hope that our song will open people's eyes about runaways'
Our song 'Suffering in Silence' began at a meeting at The Children's Society in Keighley in February. We arrived at the project and met some six other young people from around Lancashire and Yorkshire. As we became a group we wanted to figure out a new way to get the word out about runaways.
Our aim was to raise issues around running away and to get other young people to recognise them. After a slight debate over whether to design a leaflet or make a song, we agreed to attempt to 'open people's eyes' through the power of music. By 'people' we meant authorities, parents, runaways . . . basically anyone who is willing to listen.
With the great help from staff at The Children's Society we organised a second meeting to begin our project. As the group was quite large we decided to split into two groups in order to form and produce a song by each group, which we hoped would eventually lead to two amazing songs.
Recording our song
We began writing our song that day in Keighley. Then shortly after we went to another of The Children's Society's programmes to continue to write and structure our track. Following our first two meetings of our journey to complete the track we travelled to Preston to put finishing touches on the song.
At the end of the day at Preston we all negotiated and set a date to record our song.
Unfortunately when we reached the studio it was raining but the atmosphere in the tremendous studio quickly put a smile on our faces. The producer provided us some background information about producing music. Little did we know we were in the same studio Wiley had previously recorded in! We spent about two hours recording the three-minute song, and it was all worthwhile.
When we first heard the song
Ciara said: 'When I first heard the song in the studio I was in a substantial amount of shock, I could not believe how good the song actually was. I am so pleased with what we have achieved and we both appreciate The Children's Society for allowing us to complete this amazing project. However I am still awaiting a phone call from Simon Cowell!'
Romany said: 'When I first heard the song I was extremely surprised. I didn't believe it was me. Either way I do not regret any section of our project and I hope that our song will open people's eyes about runaways. I am really excited for making a new song and hope to build on the journey which we have already begun.'
Our song was played at the launch of the Runaways Charter which has distinctly been introduced for agencies with a duty to protect children who run away or go missing from home and care.
When our song was played at the charter everybody in attendance showed great appreciation and we believe it was a great opportunity to spread the word and make more people acknowledge our song. We would like to consider that we are a positive influence to other young people who want to make a difference - just remember, anything is achievable!
It doesn't end here . . . future prospects
If you aren't already aware of Pot of Gold, it's a scheme that allows young people to participate in the process of decision-making. A group of young people allocate funding to other children and young people to help them forward their ideas for making positive changes and having their voices heard.
This year, through our Children's Society project we applied for the Pot of Gold which will entitle us to produce a new song. To our amazement we were accepted, which has left us totally bewildered, but hopeful and excited to begin our spectacular journey all over again.
We would like to thank everybody who has supported us on our project. Also we look forward to beginning and producing a second project where we aim to again distribute a way of encouraging others and hoping they recognise and become more aware of the issues surrounding young runaways and children at harm.
By Romany & Ciara, young people who work with our programmes
Read, watch or listen to more
- Listen to 'Suffering in Silence', a song created by young people who work with our Safe in the City Manchester project
- Use our runaways map and tell your local authority that you want them to protect young runaways
- Read about the Runaways Charter (and watch a video of two young people explaining why they wrote the charter and chose to launch it in a restaurant instead of at the houses of parliament)
What you can do next
Has your local authority pledged to uphold our Runaways Charter? Find out – use our map