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BAFTA Partners with Place2Be on Children's Mental Health Initiative

31 January 2017
BAFTA/Lisa Prime

‘BAFTA Kids Roadshow with Place2Be’ will teach life skills and champion creativity in children around the UK

Partnership launches with a competition to design a super hero that represents the power of kindness

London, 31 January: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has partnered with children’s mental health charity Place2Be on a series of schools events aimed at championing creativity and showcasing soft skills important for emotional wellbeing and career progression.

The events, entitled ‘BAFTA Kids Roadshow with Place2Be’, will take place in 12 towns and cities across the UK between March and November 2017. Each roadshow will include a ‘Behind The Scenes’ assembly featuring role models from BAFTA-nominated and award-winning TV, film and games, and a TV presenting masterclass. An online learning resource based around the masterclass will be available in the coming months.

The year will culminate with ‘BAFTA Kids: Red Carpet Experience’ on the day of the British Academy Children’s Awards in November, which additionally includes children lining the red carpet to collect autographs from their favourite celebrities as they arrive at the ceremony.

To celebrate the partnership, which launches in the run up to Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week (6-12 February), BAFTA is launching a competition for children to design a super hero that represents the power of kindness. The winner will be chosen by a celebrity judging panel including BAFTA-winning animators, and CBBC presenters Ben Shires (Officially Amazing, MOTD Kickabout) and Katie Thistleton (CBBC HQ, CBBC Book Club), and will see their character brought to life by BAFTA-winning animation studio Blue-Zoo Productions, makers of Tree Fu Tom and Digby Dragon. The competition is now open at and closes on Tuesday 28 February.

In 2016, BAFTA Kids and Place2Be hosted pilot events at two London schools, and a Red Carpet Experience at the Children’s Awards, which were presented by Ben Shires and Katie Thistleton, and featured BAFTA nominated actress, Leona Vaughan (Wolfblood).

Katie Thistleton says: “Alongside sharing brilliant kids’ content directly with the audience and letting them hold the big shiny BAFTA mask, we also get the opportunity to build their confidence and develop their dreams and aspirations. While Place2Be provides mental health support and training, BAFTA shows children what goes on behind the scenes of their favourite TV shows, films and games, and together, children who may have low self-esteem or complicated home lives can have a bit of time out, laughing and joking with their friends, exploring their talents and skills and feeling good about themselves, whilst hopefully being inspired to go forward and use the skills we've taught them to shape their futures - whether they want to work in the media or not.”

Ben Shires describes the events as “an absolute joy” and continues: “The TV presenting masterclass has evolved into a series of fun, confidence-building exercises that seem to strike a chord with almost every child, even those usually deemed shy, disruptive or challenging. There’s no greater feeling of accomplishment than being told the child who’s just spoken so eloquently in front of their whole class has never done anything like that before.”

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, says: “We know what a powerful role moving image can play in inspiring young people, and helping them to recognise and manage their emotions. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Place2Be supporting children’s mental health. BAFTA looks forward to visiting schools around the UK, and to seeing all the creative entries to our ‘Power of Kindness’ competition.”

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, says: “We know that children often have a lot on their minds from Place2Be’s frontline work in schools. So we are really pleased to be working in partnership with BAFTA Kids to give children around the country this incredible opportunity to build their confidence and develop their sense of self-esteem – crucial skills to thrive and succeed in life. The feedback from schools in London to date has been fantastic, so it is wonderful to be able take the show on the road, and offer our Partner Schools around the country an exciting opportunity to take part.” 

The BAFTA Kids Roadshow with Place2Be has been made possible by the generous support of Michelle and Simon Orange.

‘BAFTA Kids Roadshow with Place2Be’ – Roadshow locations:

  • Bath
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Hastings
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • London (BAFTA Kids: Red Carpet Experience)

Power of Kindness competition judging panel:

  • Ben Shires – Presenter, Officially Amazing and MOTD Kickabout
  • Katie Thistleton – Presenter CBBC HQ and CBBC Book Club
  • Ben Bocquelet – Creator, The Amazing World of Gumball
  • Sarah Gomes Harris – Co-creator, Sarah and Duck
  • Daniel Postgate – Producer/writer, Clangers
  • Adam Shaw – Animation Director and co-founder of Blue-Zoo Productions
  • Jennie Meadows, Director of Communications, Place2Be

Note to Editors:

Katie Thistleton and Ben Shires are available for press interviews.

For further information, please contact:

Charlotte Inett at freuds
T: +44 (0)20 3003 6350
E: [email protected]

Niyi Akeju at BAFTA
T: +44 (0) 20 7292 5865
E: [email protected]

For images, logos, accreditation, transcripts and more, visit



The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit For more, visit

About BAFTA Kids

BAFTA Kids is a programme of events and initiatives for families across the UK run by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, offering insight into creative excellence within film, television and games. The programme features behind-the-scenes roadshows, workshops and masterclasses with BAFTA-winning talent, online challenges and competitions, and special hospice screenings. Whereas BAFTA’s annual British Academy Children’s Awards recognise and celebrate excellence within these industries, BAFTA Kids is a trusted and accessible brand for children and families to explore and discover new, innovative and non-mainstream work, helping them deepen their appreciation of the films, television programmes and games they enjoy.

About Place2Be

Place2Be is a leading UK children's mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff.

School-based teams of professional counsellors and therapists build strong links with students, staff and parents to help develop a ‘mentally healthy’ ethos within the school environment.

Place2Be is a leading provider of specialist training and university-validated professional child counselling qualifications. The charity also trains school leaders, teachers and staff to build their understanding of children’s mental health and wellbeing.

The charity works directly with more than 282 primary and secondary schools across Wales, Scotland and England, reaching a school population of over 116,000 pupils.