We always make an effort to make sure our programmes are relevant and timely. Usually this is by design. For instanceThe Last Train touring this term was timed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Kindertransport leaving Germany.

Sometimes events overtake us though. It was with a strange sense of déjà vu that we watched the news reports in September about the riots in Birmingham city centre (here’s the BBC’s report on the incidents). We had spent the previous term devising and piloting Tapestry, our programme looking at preventing violent extremism. We’d consulted community groups, young people and police, and developed a programme following Hassan, Jason and Nazia as they shared each others stories – trapped in a deserted city centre shop during a riot.

This strange feeling of synchronicity has happened again. Today we started devising our consultation workshops for The Home Children, a tour that will bring to life the real stories of the child migrants, their families and those involved in their migration from British children’s homes to countries around the world. As I turned on my TV this morning I was moved by a woman who had been part of this migration, and in her case was sent to Australia. Her childhood had been taken away, she had grown up having been told she had no family, and had only recently discovered she had sisters living in Britain. She was on the news because the Australian Prime Minister had just issued an apology, and (we’re told) our own is about to follow suit.

It’s events like these that remind us that all the stories we explore, whether inspired by mythical, historical or contemporary sources, are relevant and resonant to the children and young people taking part.

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