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Issue Date:- 13 October 2008


LIVERPOOL City Centre will come to life as the BBC's Big Screen shows on-line animated drama Trapped to shoppers and passers by. Trapped has been created by Knowlsey youngsters, through a pioneering partnership between Action for Children and BBC writersroom which placed professional writers with Action for Children project across the UK.

Trapped has been written by vulnerable youngsters from Action for Children’s Knowsley Family Intervention Project, and animated by students from Liverpool John Moores University. Jade (11), Jake (14) and Chelsea (14) have worked over a three month period with TV writer Lucia Haynes (Doctors, BBC 1) to develop scripts for this on-line drama, which premiered at FACT and on the BBC's Liverpool08 website on 25 September.

The animation is the product of unique partnerships between organisations and talent in the North West. Animators at Liverpool John Moores University used 2D and 3D animation techniques, while characters were voiced by emerging young acting talent from Liverpool. BBC writersroom’s Project Manager for the North of England, Katherine Beacon, produced Trapped, and development funding support for this project was awarded by Northwest Vision and Media.

Trapped is a drama about consequences. 4 teenage friends decide to break into, and explore their old school, which is due to be knocked down. The 1st episode ends when the school’s roof collapses, trapping the teenagers. The next 7 episodes focus on the consequences of their actions, tests to their friendship and lessons they learn as they try to escape the condemned building.

Action for Children and the BBC launched their partnership earlier this year with the Writers in Residence scheme, placing established writers in Action for Children projects. The scheme works with some of the country’s most vulnerable children giving them the opportunity to become the creative stars of the future. As well as creative skills, the project aims to develop children’s confidence, resilience and self-esteem to take them into adulthood. Commenting on her work with the young people writer Lucia Haynes says:- “I’m so proud of the kids - they worked really hard on the animation, and it's so exciting to see their creation on the Big Screen! It's great that so many people will get the chance to see how talented they are."

Jade, aged 11, who is one of the writers of the animated drama said:- ”I’ve really enjoyed creating our animation. Lucia made me realise that I can do something if I put my mind to it. One of my favourite bits was creating the characters and seeing my work come to life. I’m really proud of myself. “

Richard Grindey, Senior Project Worker at Knowlsey Family Intervention Project commented:- “Since working with Lucia, Jade, Jake and Chelsea have gained so much confidence in their own abilities. Seeing their own work up on the Big Screen really highlights how much they have achieved through the workshops."

Kate Rowland, BBC Creative Director of New Writing says:- “Our aim at BBC Writersroom is to nurture the best young talent out there. This writer in residency project has been all about hearing those different and untold stories on the reality of living in modern Britain. This collaboration with Action for Children has also provided a chance for professional writers to use their talents in a different and rewarding way. They have opened young people’s eyes to talents they never knew they had, and offered them an insight into the opportunities available within the creative industries.”

Trapped is also available to view on BBC's Liverpool08 Capital of Culture website at and on the BBC Liverpool08 mobile browser site, so episodes can be downloaded to mobile phone for the audience to watch and keep. To get the clips on your mobile phone, text CULTURE to 81010 or type into your mobile browser. Texts cost 10-15p depending on your network.

The drama will play on the BBC's Big Screen in Liverpool City Centre at numerous intervals, daily, until 20 October 2008.

Doors open on new children’s home

A BRAND new home for youngsters with emotional and behavioural difficulties has opened in Liverpool.  Laurel Children’s Home in Wavertree provides five places for young people aged 11 to 16 whose parents are unable to care for them.  It is part of the council’s drive to make sure that young people are cared for within the city rather than being placed in provision outside of Liverpool, away from relatives and friends.

The home – which has undergone a £60k makeover - includes a comfortable, welcoming environment, spacious rooms, individual bedrooms, a computer study and a large garden. 

The city council’s executive member for care and safeguarding, Councillor Ron Gould, said:- “This is a fantastic new facility which gives children the stability and security they need in a warm and welcoming environment.  The facilities are absolutely first class and will make sure our young people are given the support they need to develop into happy, achieving adults.  Staff at the new Laurel Children’s Home are doing valuable work to help improve life for our most vulnerable youngsters.”

Staff will carry out a range of specialist work with the young people, under the government-led Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), which promotes the mental health and psychological wellbeing of young people.  They will benefit from high quality, therapeutic work to help them overcome their difficulties and meet their educational, health and social needs.

Laurel Children’s Home takes to 3 the number of homes in the city which specialise in therapeutic work for children and young people with behavioural and emotional difficulties.


11% of cash-strapped borrowers have missed payments on either their mortgage, credit card, or personal loan in the last 6 months, according to new research from  And with the pressure mounting on households the independent financial comparison website is warning that more bills are likely to go unpaid in the coming months.

The research reveals that at least 5 million finance related bills have been missed with credit cards proving to be the greatest burden to struggling borrowers. Around 4 million credit card users admit to having missed a payment in the 6 months to September - around 9% of the adult population.  Worryingly, the number of people missing payments on personal loans has increased considerably relative to the previous 6 month period. In the 6 months to September over 1.3 million people missed a personal loan repayment. In the 6 months to January this year that figure was 859,000.

Sean Gardner, Director of, said:- “The credit crunch is having a painful effect on households who are struggling to meet their financial commitments.  Interest rates may have been pushed down through 2008 but increased pressures from rising food and energy bills mean consumers are struggling to keep their heads above water. One late payment doesn’t represent a financial meltdown but when it becomes a habit there’s real room for concern. And the consequences, whether it’s losing a service altogether of even ending up in court can be very serious indeed.”

With HSBC and Woolwich hiking their mortgage rates this week, and others likely to follow suit, those with mortgages are likely to feel increasing pressure in the coming months.  Those soon coming off fixed-rate deals will have found their options tightened considerably with Woolwich raising it’s 3, 5, and 10 year fixed deal by 0.35%. HSBC has raised it’s 2, 3, and 5 year deals by 0.3% for those with 10% deposits, representing £300 extra a year on a £150,000 mortgage. aims to demystify the complex world of personal finance, and to help inform customers of the choices available. The service can be found at

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