Bafta award winning director creates Aberlour film

Audience gathers to watch film 2web

Garry Fraser, who worked on Trainspotting 2 with Danny Boyle, has created a film about children moving into new Aberlour homes in the Highlands

Susan Smith's photo

21st September 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

A Bafta award winning director has made a film to coincide with the opening of new charity children’s homes in the Highlands.

Garry Fraser, who won a prestigious award for his documentary Everbody’s Child and then went onto work with Danny Boyle on Trainspotting 2, made the feature.

It follows a group of youngsters as they move into their new Aberlour homes in Inverness, Fort William and Tain.

Fraser, who himself spent time in care growing up, uses the film to help the young people reflect on what it means to be in care.  

He said: “When I work with kids in care, I feel my passion for filmmaking rubs of on them because children are inquisitive by nature and the process of film making relaxes them. Each and every child I work with has the potential to become First Minister, to become a film director or whatever they want and in order for that to happen kids in care have to be nurtured, guided and helped to become the people that they want to be.

"I love working with those kids, I see those kids and I want to be part of the solution that helps them lead a healthy, positive life. I don't have the answers, only they have that, but what I can do is listen to them take their hopes and fears in to consideration and be the personification of compassion and empathy.” 

The film was shown at The Ironworks in Inverness on Monday in front of 100 guests, including minster for early years and childcare Mark McDonald MSP.

SallyAnn Kelly, chief executive of Aberlour, said: “We are so proud of our children and young people for the way they have so eloquently expressed their feelings about being in care. The film really showcases what we know already – that all our young people are unique with different hopes and dreams for the future. We are honoured to be by their side, to help them grow into adulthood.

“At Aberlour, we provide residential services for children and see it as a positive destination for many. We truly believe that every child deserves the chance to flourish, and having a safe and loving home is key to that.”

The children’s houses, opened in partnership with The Highland Council, are an extension of Aberlour’s Sycamore service which already manages five houses in Fife. The children have often experienced trauma, which could include witnessing domestic violence or drug and alcohol use in the home.

Children cared for by Aberlour in the Highlands all come from the region but are not able to live with their families. This may be for a short, planned period while a family gets support so that their children can return. Others will live with Aberlour until they are adults.

Early years minister McDonald said: “The Scottish Government is committed to transforming the lives of children and young people growing up in care in Scotland today and in the future. The Independent Care Review seeks to deliver that, by identifying the changes we need to make as well as recognising where great work is already taking places.

“Aberlour has a very long history of looking after children and I have been inspired by the young people I have met this evening, as well as those who have spoken so powerfully in the film. It reinforces our need to be guided by our care-experienced children, families and care-leavers, to bring about real, lasting change.”

The charity has also launched Sustain, a support service in Ross-shire helping families with children on the “edge of care.” Trained staff will work to help and support families under pressure in an attempt to keep parents and their children together.

Aberlour plans to submit the children’s film, as part of its contribution to the Independent Care Review, announced by the Scottish Government last year. 

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