Festival Place in Basingstoke is hosting a powerful installation that highlights the issues faced by children who go into care.
The Suitcase Installation, run by Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), which is provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will be at the shopping centre until January 8.
As part of the Hear Me Children in Care Campaign for 2019, Hampshire CAMHS has hosted focus groups across the county with young people, adolescents, and care leavers, to understand more about their experiences of being in care.
Entitled ‘The Suitcase’, the art installation consists of two large suitcases which contain the physical items that were shared by young people when they were asked the question ‘what was the one possession you remember taking with you the first time you went into care?’.
The rest of the exhibition relates to the work done by CAMHS over the past year with children in care, which has included training, a play, and focus groups.
Helen Dove, Innovation and Participation Lead for Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), said: “The exhibition and art installation at Festival Place is a culmination of our year-long ‘Hear Me’ campaign, which has focused on hearing the voices of children in care, training people across Hampshire in skills to support these young people, and encouraging our society to be more compassionate and understanding of their needs and circumstances.
“The exhibition reflects the work carried out and encompasses the voices of young people.
“We hope that this visual representation of young people’s real-life experiences will help start a conversation about what is like to be in care, and how we can be all more aware and supportive of this group of young people.”
Festival Place Marketing Manager Emily Palmer said: “It is so important to raise awareness of the issues faced by children in care across the county and beyond, and we are delighted that CAMHS has chosen Festival Place to host this powerful installation.”
For more information visit festivalplace.co.uk, or for more information about the services that Hampshire CAMHS provide, go to www.hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk.