The Moira Anderson Foundation (MAF) supports survivors of childhood sexual abuse, all ages and genders.  MAF’s Youth Steering Group, the ‘MAF Champions’, are a group of young people passionate about raising awareness of the support that MAF delivers. They thought an animated film was the best way to communicate the support MAF provides to young people. In December 2021 we were delighted to be awarded [£25,000] from the Paristamen Charity to develop the animation as part of an awareness campaign. In January 2022, we started working with the Glasgow Initiative of Facilitation & Therapy, Growth Animation and Dr Javita Narang to support young people to create an animation that shares their experiences of life before and after getting support from MAF. Art Director Sharon Caddie worked with the project team to design and deliver the marketing campaign.

The project has been a new venture for MAF, it’s been an exciting journey. It’s been wonderful to see the progress the project team has made along the way. The animation itself is simple in it’s nature, yet powerful; it really helps to get the message out there that MAF is here to support survivors. We’re sure it will make a big impact on those who need to hear that message.

The young people involved were fantastic, they quickly realised how important the project was and gave it their all. They  were supported by a project team of animators, artists and therapists. Through a series of workshops, young people were given the opportunity to develop storylines through participating in guided meditations and other creative exercises. They had an introduction to animation, character development, storyboarding, post-production and composing soundscapes to create a final animation about their lived experiences.

The Woods’ the final animation created by the young people and was inspired by  a poem written by one of the young people, Niamh, who went on to become the creative lead for the project. Niamh explained that the ‘The Woods represents the sometimes daunting process of seeking help and how it can all feel a bit too much when you can’t tell the woods from the trees. Once you take that first step a path starts to emerge.  However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, we can still remain in the woods but with the bit of support, it can take the weight off.’

MAF are now working towards offering a youth therapeutic group, the group will be begin the pilot phase within the next few weeks. Yet another first for MAF! We continue to offer one to one support and therapeutic services to children and young people, also support to parents who are struggling to cope with what’s happened to their child.

You can view The Woods’ Animation video here 

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