We are so excited to introduce you to the characters from our stories – due to be launched on our website next month. NACCC staff have been working with Rusty Monkey a creative agency based in Nottingham to develop new stories for younger and older children to work alongside a new website for NACCC. Funded by the People’s Postcode Trust these have been developed in consultation with the Family Justice Young People’s Board, getting their feedback at appropriate points during the process.
Charlie the hedgehog
Our first story ‘Charlie and the multi-coloured monster’ helps to introduce the concept of supported contact. Charlie’s multicoloured monster changes in size and colour throughout the story reflecting Charlie’s changing mood and emotions. We introduce the rollercoaster of emotions that children can have following their parents’ separation and introduces the contact centre as a way of getting back to some normality.
Sam the robin
Sam is a fiery bird going through the complex emotions of divorce. Sam worries about mum who is not living with them anymore. We see Sam meeting centre worker Stan and the concept of supervised contact is introduced as Stan keeps them company during contact taking notes.
Again, ‘Sam and the multi-coloured monster’ introduces the range of emotions that children affected by divorce and separation can be feeling, how this can affect them physically and helps to explain the potential journey from supervised contact through to supported contact and then contact in the community.
Stan the centre worker
Stan the walrus is an ever-present character in all the stories. As centre worker he represents a friendly but strong and stable presence for Charlie and Sam who are experiencing a time of turmoil and confusion. Stan is there when they have their pre-visit and can answer all the questions that they might have.
Robin the sloth
Robin is angry and sad about what is happening with mum and dad splitting up and didn’t want to have to take sides. ‘Robin and the emotion avatar’ covers similar issues to Charlie and Sam’s stories but explores the complexities of feeling caught in the middle and being protective of siblings.
This story introduces the concept of supported contact to an older reader and also includes more detail on moving on from the centre, living in two homes and getting to know new partners.
And finally… Alex the racoon
‘Alex and the emotion avatar’ follows a similar storyline to Robin’s story but introduces the concept of supervised contact to an older reader. Here we see Alex and the little brother chatting with Stan at the centre “about some of things that have been happening at home… the good bits and the bad bits.
This story explores the anxieties of seeing a parent again after a gap in contact, getting used a supervisor and getting an understanding that both parents still love you. Again the story progresses from supervised contact through to supported contact and then developing a new routine out of the centre.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the creative team at Rusty Monkey for coming up with such wonderful characters for us! So for the time being… Watch this space!