A group of talented children have won praise for their inspirational creations which were exhibited at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews.
The looked after children from primary schools in Fife have been learning more about their rights by taking part in a creative arts project with Children’s Parliament.
The project included a papier mâché week where children focused on ambitions for their future. Using little more than flour and water, wire, paper and a bit of paint, they created models of their future selves to share their hopes and dreams for the future.
Children’s Parliament is Scotland’s centre of excellence for children’s participation and engagement. They work creatively through projects towards a future where all children in Scotland are actively engaged in shaping a world where everyone is healthy, happy, safe and has their say.
The Seen & Heard project won plaudits from local parliamentarians and from the University of St Andrews, which hosted the exhibition.
North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie said: “The confidence of these young people and their ability to express the belief that they can be whatever they want to be in life is an inspiration to us all.
“It was a joy to spend some time with them and to see the University reaching out to care experienced children.”
North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins said: “This project has given looked after children a great opportunity to learn more about their rights and express this in a relaxed and creative environment. It is very important children are happy, healthy and safe and that they know what their rights are and how to make sure their voices are heard.”
Mike Johnson, Director of UK/EU Admissions and Access at the University of St Andrews, said: “It’s vital that young people are supported to meet their full potential and we are committed to helping in every way we can to achieve this. Recognising children’s individual abilities is crucial and we’re honoured to exhibit this wonderful artwork by these talented young people.”
Hanna Didcock, Children’s Parliament Seen & Heard project manager, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to be listened to, praised and encouraged by some influential people. They had brilliant fun at the Byre Theatre, meeting Willie Rennie, and it was fantastic to see them so proud of what they have achieved.”
A child Seen & Heard project participant said: “Looked after children have views and it’s very important to listen to us, just like any other child. It shouldn’t matter that we are in care.”
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