Social media expose children to inappropriate and harmful patterns of behaviour that are different from those experienced by previous generations. Ariel works with young people using forum theatre techniques to explore these themes; this work is currently funded by The National Lottery.
In order to address these emerging threats more widely we employ a co-creation process, by listening to children we build interventions based on their experience to develop online resources.
For example when developing SafeSkills we worked with a group of teenage girls who had been groomed and sexually exploited. The group were receiving support from Liverpool's 'Targeted Services for Young People' and as part of this process we worked with their Support Worker to deliver a creative workshops program exploring their experiences.
During the sessions the group discussed the grooming process, which had taken place in a local park. The sessions allowed them to reflect on what had happened and to begin to see why the behaviour of the young men was not appropriate and put the girls at risk. They began to recognise risky situations, which they had previously viewed as safe and discussed positive ways that they might manage the risks differently with the benefit of hindsight.
During the project they worked with our scriptwriter and illustrator to develop a short animation that shows how the grooming process had begun. This animation became the film 'Parks', and a program of active learning was then built around this film. The girl’s hindsight became a critical part of this design process, their suggestions about things that they might have done differently became a series of learning activities for children in primary schools.