Charity music video launched to help young Yorkshire runaways
A hard-hitting charity music video has been launched to urge South Yorkshire teenagers to get help before running away from home.
Written by and featuring Indie Chart-topping Rotherham rapper Jay Mya, the video was produced for South Yorkshire charity SAFE@LAST to educate young people about the risks of running away and offers a crucial free helpline to call in times of need.
SAFE@LAST works to support the one in nine children in South Yorkshire under the age of 16 who have run away from home, are thinking about running away or have been thrown out of their home. The charity provides advice and support to vulnerable children and teenagers and offers services from prevention to crisis intervention.
Tracy Haycox, Director of Children and Young People’s Services for SAFE@LAST said: “Young people present our charity with many complex issues including neglect, physical abuse, self-harming, conflict and violence at home, mental health problems and much, much more.
“We needed a resource to help us reach out to more young people than ever and the SAFE@LAST charity video, with its shocking scenes, hard-hitting lyrics and memorable music is just the tool we need to take into schools and reach out to young people who are living these nightmares every single day. Through it, we can let them know there are places and people they can turn to for help – there are alternatives to running away.”
Starring teenagers from Bradford-based Articulate Speech and Drama School Melissa Johns (15) from Ilkley and Amy Harrison (16) from Skipton, alongside seasoned Sheffield actor Jay Olpin who recently starred in the UK tour of The Full Monty, the music video tells the story of three young people facing issues such as bullying, abuse, self-harming and running away from home.
Jay Mya, considered by BBC Introducing as “one of the best urban acts in the north”, wrote the song ‘Safe At Last’ and filmed the music video at the Lifewise Centre in Rotherham with creative production company Rebel Yell in July. The video also features SAFE@LAST staff, trustees, volunteers and patrons and will be used as part of the charity’s Education and Prevention work in schools across South Yorkshire.
Jay (29), explained: “I’ve supported the work of SAFE@LAST for years and have seen first-hand the difference their services make to so many young people. When asked if I could write a song to help get their message into more schools, I didn’t hesitate but didn’t want to write a clichéd charity track purely to raise money, I wanted to take this a little deeper. I wanted it to hit home.”
He added: “All three teen actors really helped us bring the story and the track to life and the reaction so far has been great and we know we’re starting to make waves. We now need more YouTube hits and sales of the single as all proceeds go back to the charity. With increased awareness, we can make a real difference to the teenagers that SAFE@LAST works to support in our region and across the country.”
The SAFE@LAST video is available to view on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_C0b4MXUKY and proceeds from sales of the accompanying single “Safe At Last” will go directly to the charity to support its ongoing work. You can pre-order ‘Safe At Last’ on iTunes for 99p at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/safe-at-last-single/id929167813 or text SAFE to 85888 to pre order on your phone for £1. The track will be available for download for from Sunday 30 November 2014, all proceeds will go directly to SAFE@LAST.
Tracy added: “I hope that the music video will speak to the children we visit in schools in a way they understand, so we can prevent young people from finding themselves at risk of harm as a result of running away. This is the first time we’ve taken such a bold step in combining our work with the music industry and we’re delighted with the feedback and reaction to the song and video so far. We really hoping everyone will see the value in downloading the track for just 99p so we can continue to support young runaways in Yorkshire.”
For more information on SAFE@LAST call 01909 566 977 or visit www.safeatlast.org.uk
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