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NYAS joins forces with Everton in the Community and Olympic athelete Akabusi

1st Aug 2017

National children’s charity NYAS producing film designed by and starring young people from the care system

Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University also supporting ‘Digital Life Stories’ video project

The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) has teamed up with Everton in the Community (EITC), Edge Hill University and Olympic star Kriss Akabusi to showcase the incredible things young people from the care system can achieve.

Young people from EITC’s Breathing Space project, as well as some who work with NYAS, are starring alongside Akabusi, who grew up in care, in a new video shot on location around Edge Hill University, near Ormskirk, and at the Blues’ Goodison Park home.

And the young people will also play a leading role in the planning and production of the video, which will be revealed by NYAS in the Autumn.

Wirral-based charity NYAS, which supports vulnerable young people all over the country, is working on the “Digital Life Stories’ video with award-winning Cheshire PR firm No Brainer and Manchester-based engagement agency Trunk.

The second part of the project takes place in Devon and Cardiff in August, when young people will have the chance to get involved in an animated film.

Kriss Akabusi was born in London in 1958 but then placed in care when his parents moved back to Nigeria four years later. He won an Olympic silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles games in the 4x400m relay before picking up gold in the same event at the 1991 Tokyo World Championships.

He has since gone on to launch his own charity – the Akabusi Charitable Trust – which works with young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) to help prepare them for the world of work.

“Having experienced the care system first hand, I understand how crucial it is to offer encouragement to the young people and show them that absolutely anything is possible,” said Kriss.

“Every child should dream big, shoot for the stars, and remember that the past is for reference, not for residence.”

NYAS is a rights based charity which operates across England and Wales for children, young people and adults, providing them with advocacy and legal representation when important decisions are being made about them.

Over the last 12 months alone, NYAS has supported more than 9,000 children and young people. The charity provides advocacy services in 59 local authorities, has acted on 115 reportable safeguarding concerns and matched 379 vulnerable children and young people with an independent visitor.

NYAS Chief Executive Rita Waters added: “It’s wonderful to have the support of Everton in the Community, Edge Hill and Kriss for the ‘Digital Life Stories’ project.

“They’ve all thrown their full support behind this project and have really taken the time to understand our aims and future goals as a charitable organisation.

“Kriss is such an inspirational figure who truly cares about the welfare and help available to children and the young people are thrilled to be working alongside an Olympic athlete.

“It’s an experience many of them will cherish for the rest of their lives. We’re excited to see the finished campaigns appear throughout the UK.”

Young people from either Devon or Cardiff who want to get involved in the production of the animated film should contact Eleanor Harrison at eleanor.harrison@nyas.net.

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