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Gloucestershire kids taught consent with film produced by Aardman

Thursday 7th April 2022

“It’s not about getting the answer you want, but listening to the one you get.”

That’s what a new animated video produced by Aardman on behalf of Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, hopes to teach Gloucestershire’s young people, as part of a commitment to tackle Violence and Intimidation against Women and Girls (VIAWG) in the county.

Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner secured funding through the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, and approached the Bristol-based BAFTA and Oscar award-winning animation studio, Aardman to work on the project.

Best known for characters including Wallace and Gromit; and Shaun the Sheep, the animation giant produced the project, which aims to make a real difference to the future safety of women and girls in the south west, by helping children to understand what consent means, in lots of everyday contexts.

Chris Nelson, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is just one way that my office is committed to influencing behaviour when tackling Violence and Intimidation against Women and Girls.

“This innovative campaign will provide a friendly and engaging way for young people to talk about consent and boundaries, encouraging respectful behaviour from an early age, which I hope will benefit the next generation growing up in the county.

“We’re delighted to have the very talented team from Aardman involved in this work. For a globally acclaimed animation firm to provide its expertise shows the importance of this campaign to society, and also demonstrates how Aardman values its social responsibility to young people in the south west.” 

Speaking about the film, Nick Miller, Producer at Aardman, said: “Aardman is keen to support projects that help young people in the South West and, in working with the Gloucestershire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), we have utilised our storytelling expertise to engage young people and build awareness around the topic of consent.”

A focus group of experts approved the video throughout its various production stages to ensure its messaging, tone and treatment was appropriate for its intended audience of nine to 13-year-olds. The group included representatives from Gloucestershire Constabulary, West Mercia Women’s Aid, Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS), Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Assault Centre (GRASAC) and Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning Programme.

A lesson plan developed by Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) accompanies the video, and is available to all schools and colleges in the county from today, as part of the Gloucestershire PSHE curriculum. GHLL, funded by Public Health and GCC, provide support for all schools and colleges across our county to help support staff, children and their families to improve their lives through making positive choices around physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.  

The video will be officially launched to Key Stage 2 pupils at Robinswood Primary School in Gloucester on Thursday 7 April 2022.

It will also be available to Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Schoolbeat team, which delivers training to young people on topics including anti-social behaviour, grooming, exploitation and internet safety.

Aardman Director, Tim Ruffle and Producer Nick Milller, whose animation projects include work for Nintendo, Google and Robinsons, created the video.