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MediaActive: Illustrated Books Project An initiative of Thomas Adams School’s Media Arts Programme and delivered in partnership with Qube Arts, this project has established new opportunities for young people to develop a series of illustrated books that reflect their interests, concerns and creativity. The young people have worked with the support of artists, designers, and a creative writer, making full use of digital media resources in North Shropshire to research, plan and produce the books. They have determined the themes, generated the ideas, created original writing and artworks, and finally, designed the layout and construction of the books.

Thanks go to all of the young people involved in Trouble Behind Me. To the design team: Brett, Dazza, Darren, Sean, Lulu, Billy, Amy, Sam, Adam, Matty, Terry, Lee, Staci, Scott, Sam, Aisha, Adam, Samantha and Andrew. And Additional thanks for the advice and ideas from: Amey, Daniel, Dean, Jack, Lauren, Molly, Shayne and Demi.

Matty Urban, laid-back, confident, real Son of Chris Who loves family, music and moto-sport Who is afraid of heights, clowns and spiders Who wants to see less judgement, fair treatment and more job opportunities Resident of the moment

Samantha Happy, kind, loving, energetic Daughter of Toni Who loves her friends, parents and dogs Who is afraid of spiders, angry mums and thunder Who wants to see more sun, fave celebrities and happy people Resident of Telford

Sam Pregnant, blonde, funny, tired Girlfriend of Arran Who loves food, partying and soaps Who is afraid of the dark, giving birth and ghosts Who wants to see her baby turn out good, more food and less violence Resident of Monkmoor

Scott Chilled, happy out going, funny Best mate of Luke Who loves football and chilling with mates Who is afraid of snakes, police and losing Mom/Dad Who wants to see Greece, Egypt Resident of Telford

Powellz Brother of Sean, Jordan and Cian Who loves skiing, roller skating and music Who is afraid of bats Who wants to see family and winter sports Resident of Barmouth

Lulu Funny, chilled, bubbly, outgoing Best mate of Keeley Who loves parties, chilling with mates and going out Who is afraid of dark, dying and spiders Who wants to see friends, family and Amsterdam Resident of Donnington

Lee Funny, sleepy, mad, jolly Son of Dad Who loves football, music and friends Who is afraid of 50, snakes and getting old Who wants to see happy people, more sun and job opportunities Resident of Telford

Andy Relaxed, happy, quiet Best mate of Deano Who loves basketball, drawing and hanging out Who is afraid of snakes, prison and spiders Who wants to see New York, China and Mexico Resident of Telford

Terry Funny, active, sleepy Son of Penny Who loves family, sport and animals Who is afraid of spiders, dark and heights Who wants to see sun and Spain Resident of the World

1.the state or quality of being young, esp. of being vigorous and lively, or immature, impetuous, etc 2.the period of life coming between childhood and maturity; adolescence 3.an early stage of growth or existence 4.young people collectively 5.a young person; esp., a young man

1.Thugs and criminals 2.Just hanging around causing trouble 3.Getting judged on what you wear 4.Drinking, smoking, taking drugs 5.Violent, aggressive young person

1.Someone at school 2.Someone young 3.Just people like everyone else 4.Young people having a laugh 5.Teenagers

In the future I will have more experience In the future I will be caring In the future I will be adopting In the future I will be helping In the future I will be supporting I need Trust I need a home I need help I need positivity Now I need a chance

Should we stop To think about Our actions stoPping

A Not rushing into Doing the wrong

t king time

Thing he or sHe could feel bad the vIctims they will Not Know you until you get to court Brett

S getTing into trOuble stoP


And thiNk boreDom T thougHts crimInal record avoidiNg guilt Knowing the consequences

more s uff to do


STOP AND THINK Do you want to do this? You will have to pay a ďŹ ne If your mates want to do it let them, don't do it yourself Is this the real you? You will lose your car You will lose your job! You will end up in prison You could die! Do you regret it when you realise what you have done? What will your Mum and Dad say? Think of the consequences

STOP AND THINK Think before you act! Think of the consequences What will happen to you once you’ve committed the crime? Is the offence going to cost? How will the offence get taken? How will your parents react ? Who will be upset?

•Could get arrested •End up with fine •Will be known as a criminal and bad influence on younger generations •Lose out on jobs •Could end up stealing for life making a living of going in and out of prison constantly

Could walk away Won't get arrested Won’t get known as a criminal If you think about what you’re doing, could determine what will happen later on in life

Carry on fighting

What: fight

Walking away

Not walking away

Where: ice-skating rink, Telford

Not fighting

When: October 2008

Stop and think


my friend, Angelica

Could get arrested

What: breaking into a house

Sent to prison Criminal record will affect you finding a job Affect people’s trust in you

Walk away Not get arrested

Where: Telford someone’s homE When: Christmas period

Earn more trust and respect with people by walking away Would not get a criminal record

Who: with friends Lose out on education prospects

Hurt people and family close to you Affect the people whose house you broke into, will not want to live alone

More chance of getting a job, or the job you want

Think before you act Do what you want to do, not what others want you to do! Think about other people

Acting without thinking can end up with you paying for it for a long time DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS TO HAPPEN? You could end up going into a Young Offenders or going into care

If your mates want to do it, let them. Don’t do it yourself –

walk away

You will lose your job! You will lose your car!

You could die!

Do you want to do this? Is this the real you? Do you want to end up in prison? Think for yourself What will your Mum and Dad say?

• Get arrested • Could end up in court • Could end up going to prison • Could end up paying a fine for what you have robbed

• Don’t go in the shops without money • If you feel like you’re going to steal, don’t go in da shops • End up not getting into trouble with the police

Actions Have


Court payment and girlfriend O No Seeing mates Effects on work Queen has more criminals U victims Effects on your money N’ Courting Effects on your family Suffer Dazza

Labelled as a criminal or a thug or a bad influence. A good Consequence is a good job or a load of money. In the end you will wish you didn’t do it. A bad consequence is a criminal record. Good or bad consequences determine the final outcome. Reactions from family and friends could be good or bad in the end.

Why do I need ID when I can get someone else to get me beer. There is an easier way to have a laugh!


I know, I have been there, I lost all my family and friends because of both of these things In life you do things that you do not want to do but don’t think of the consequences of what you do. When I turned a teenager all I wanted to do was go out and drink but all I brought was worry into my Mum’s life. And yes, you are given a second chance and a third and a fourth but they can’t forgive you for ever and it’s not good. I have lost everything because of making trouble lying and this is what drinks and drugs do. So when your friends are out making you do what they are doing, don’t do it as well.

VODKA !! They are not real friends. Think of yourself first. What do you want in life? Look into the future, think about working and making something of your life. And don’t forget, friends won’t always be there. Family will be treated like you want to be treated, and life should treat you kind. And don’t feel pressured.

Walk away….

“got a job, met more mates, new school, I think before I do things, different places, got a girlfriend, doing driving lessons, I’ve still got a roof over my head, got into college, my YOS worker says I’ve got my head screwed on and wants to shorten my order because of how well I’m doing, I get on with mum more, I go to the workshop to get new skills, I’ve done good in SATs, I know what to do instead of fi ghting, I’m doing well at college, I don’t want to offend again now, I’m getting on with my brother, I think about other people, I go to football on a Friday, I’m going for an interview, I think about my reactions"

Do I really want to get myself into that situation ? Where wIll it get me ? Make the right moVe It can be yEs or no Don’t get boRed Something to keep you occupied Take tIme to think about better things Get away from prOblems DiversioN Matty

If I had the power to change something, I would change that every human has a lot of money because then a lot of people can have the right food and also a nice house with a nice car. I deserve a painting and decorating job when I leave school; I try hard and I do what’s right in the world and I am well behaved with a lot of respect for all people around me. Such as I think what I do in my reactions and I have learned to walk away from trouble that is around me. The best thing in my life is our freedom in life and we get to do what we want if you try hard and don’t get into trouble all the time. For me, a perfect world would be where everyone has respect and are more polite to every human in the world so everyone can be mates.

If I had the power to change something, I would change that I didn’t want to be here doing a referral order for my ďŹ rst offence. I deserve a chance to get the grades needed to become a plumber (already got grades needed). The best thing in my life is doing well at school, my girlfriend. For me, a perfect world would be easy to get the job you wanted.

If I had the power to change something, I would change where I live because it stinks. I deserve a pass in Maths, English and science because I have tried my hardest. The best thing in life is family because they are  esh and blood and support me and care for me. For me, a perfect world would be all about music and dj-ing.

I deserve a chance because people judge me because of the way I dress and because I’ve been arrested they think I am a criminal. The best thing in life is • getting praised by a college tutor because of the work I do. • My girlfriend • My Mum For me, a perfect world would be where the citizens of other countries around the world live a life where hey are not in danger of being killed just because of their political views and where everyone in every country has clean running water and fresh food and free health care. (For example, Ethiopia, because villagers have to walk 10 miles for dirty water to wash in and drink).

If I had the power to change something, I would change what I had done wrong. I deserve a break from everything because I’ve not long come out of Young Offenders. The best thing in life is being back with my family after being away for a few months, and playing football with my Dad and mates. For me, a perfect world would be to go anywhere around the world for free as long as you want and my Mum and Dad got back together.

I HOPE • • • • • • • • • • •

I’ll have a job in the building trade or go in the army Have a nice girl friend and a kid Have money Have a car Have a house Prove I’m better than my Dad See my little bro Have a Kx250 Have good days Have some dogs Have some money so I can pay my Mum back

Letter to Myself when I’m 30 Dear Meeeeee, Hi, hope you are well. At the moment I’m just getting prepared for my baby which is due on May 14th 2009. The main things that I am interested in now are acrylic nails and having my baby. My hopes for the future are that I am raising my child well and I am settled in a house with a good job hopefully my own acrylic nails shop. I hope that, at 30 I am well and haven’t got any health problems and me and my family are happy. Love, Sammie Lou.

Dear Aisha, Hi, hope you are well. reparation.

At the moment I’m just 14 doing my

The main things that I am interested in now are ice-skating, roller-skating, ice hockey, dj-ing, music and skiing. My hopes for the future are that I am going to be working to do something about dj-ing or skiing and roller-skating. I hope that, at 30 I am in my own house and living in Barmouth or Italy in a skiing area and I would like to be further in my ice hockey. Love, Aisha. p.s.

I hope I can achieve this.

Dear S. Hi, hope you are well. At the moment I’m just sitting in my house playing on my Xbox 360 and chilling. The main things that I am interested in now are football, Liverpool F.C. and listening to drum and bass and chilling with my mates. My hopes for the future are that I get a good job that I enjoy and get paid well, have a house, girl friend and maybe family. I hope that, at 30 I am able to read and write and be healthy and have a good job. Love, S.

Dear Adam, Hi, hope you are well. At the moment I’m just in school studying to get the grades need to become a plumber. The main things that I’m interested in now are being with my girlfriend, being with my mates and having a laugh. My hopes for the future are that I become a plumber and have a nice house and car. I hope that, at 30 I am a corgi registered plumber with my own business. Love, Adam.

Dear Sean, Hi, hope you are well. At the moment I’m just in Wem doing reparation work for getting arrested for fighting. It’s not good. I should be at work earning money. The main things that I am interested in now are doing the bricklaying course at Stafford Park. Playing football and doing as much as I can with my mates and girlfriend. My hopes for the future are that I have the qualifications I want at College. I also hope I won’t re-offend and get arrested. I want to be a bricklayer and know other trades like C & J, P & D. I hope that at, 30 I am owning a house with a family and got my own business, property abroad and not be on the dole. Love, Sean. p.s. Don’t get into trouble again.

Thanks again to: Adam
























This books project has worked with 5 groups, has produced 5 distinctive books and has involved key partners: Loppington House, Thomas Adams SEN Department, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Youth Offending Service and the West Midlands Consortium Services for Travelling Children, Schools and Families. The production of this book has been supported by lead artists, Spencer Whalen, Martin Smith and Kerry Davies, with the assistance of Joe Gainsborough.

Thomas Adams School

Profile for Spencer Whalen

Trouble Behind Me  

Illustrated book project funded by Media Box

Trouble Behind Me  

Illustrated book project funded by Media Box