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Growing Up In Care: Documentary Selected for Radio 4’s Pick Of The Week

Produced by Kate Cocker and Broadcast on BBC 1Xtra on 12 November 2017, this specially commissioned programme featured three young people, Duke, Sophie and Michael who were currently engaged in projects at Reform Radio.

A documentary-style show was created in order to follow the young people who had all of experienced of growing up in care, and to explore the role that creativity played in these young people’s journeys and its importance in helping them seek careers.

Working with 1Xtra, the young people were set the task of creating a new piece of work that they would have to perform live at a BBC outreach event at MediaCity. The documentary follows them as they prepare and perform at this event.

True to our values, we wanted this programme to serve as a vehicle for positive change for those involved, so much of the production budget was spent on providing the young people with mentors, who continue to work with them to this day. Kate met with the young people regularly and asked them to keep audio diaries to ensure they were happy with how the process was developing. She went above and beyond in ensuring the young people were aware of what they were embarking on and she gave them full editorial control of the final piece to ensure this.

The documentary was chosen for Radio 4’s Pick Of The Week, but more than that, the legacy of this documentary has been felt by all the participants. Duke now has a support network so he can continue his life in music and Michael has launched his own radio station specifically for care leavers. Sophie is consulting for the BBCs Tracey Beaker and has just one a place on the prestigious Lloyd’s School for Social Entrepreneurs Programme; developing a creative workshops business to help former sex workers.

The program was presented by current BBC 1Xtra daytime presenter Yasmin Evans, who is originally from Manchester and it has been specifically commissioned as part of 1Xtra’s outreach work in the area ahead of 1Xtra Live.