Griff’s Story Launch

Our new initiative “Griff’s Story” is an all Wales film resource designed to educate 10 years olds about the issue of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE).

Speaking at the launch in Cardiff, which was attended by officers from the four police forces of Wales and national partners, National School Liaison Co-ordinator Faith McCready, explained how it had been a long journey to get the film made.

“Over three years ago I approached some key partners about the idea to design a film for Year 6 pupils in Primary School as part of SchoolBeat.”

She said despite one failed funding bid, the push to get the film made had succeeded.

Faith said efforts paid off when all four police forces, police and crime commissioners and Welsh Government agreed to fund the project.

The film, which was shot in Bridgend, shows the experience of 10-year-old Griff who attends a Saturday club each week where a member of staff attempts to groom him until another youngster helps him to speak out about the situation.

The focus on a male main character reflects the fact that research – from charities such as Barnardo’s and the NSPCC – shows a particular risk to young boys who are less likely to report concerns or be seen as victims.

“The film is designed to help children to recognise the signs when they feel uncomfortable about the way someone is treating them,” said Faith.

She added that the film was about giving children the language and skills to make themselves heard.

“It is vital that we listen to our children and young people, it is then that we can act and make a difference,” said Faith.

The film is accessible to all learners and available in three languages, British Sign Language, English and Welsh, with optional audio description.

Through SchoolBeat it has the opportunity to reach 40,000 children in Year 6 each year.

Kirsty Williams, education minister, spoke at the launch in the Wales Millennium Centre and said the film was an excellent example of partnership working.

“Keeping our children safe from harm is not something we can do in isolation, we all need to work together,” she added.