Film made in Fakenham and King’s Lynn to challenge negative stereotypes of children in care

He has gone from growing up in children's homes to becoming a professional actor and positive role model.

Now Jarone Macklin-Page is making a short film to challenge negative stereotypes of children in care.

Filming was done at The Dunton Centre near Fakenham and a children's home in King's Lynn, last week.

In the film, six people aged 11 to 18, describe their experiences of living in children's homes.

The film is being made for the charity Break, which runs homes for children and young adults in Norfolk.

Mr Macklin-Page, 24, from Gimingham, near Cromer, lived in Break care homes in Sheringham and Mundesley from the ages of 14 to 17.

He said: 'The night before I moved into a children's home for the first time I sat with my cousin and my nan and we all cried because I thought it would be awful and I wouldn't see them again.

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'My first night there I went out and got extremely drunk and got picked up by the police. I was trying to get thrown out because I didn't want to be there. But I went on to have an amazing time and Break gave me so much support.

'Acting is the only career I've ever been interested in. Everyone always tried to put me off, but the people at the Break encouraged me to go for it.'

Mr Macklin-Page was expelled from school with no GCSEs but has now completed a three-year honours degree in acting at Italia Conti in London. He lives in London and worked with Coca-Cola on an entertainments programme for the Olympics. He is in discussions over the possibility of appearing in a film and also runs a small productions company, Miracle Productions Project.

He said: 'I've gone from having nothing to fulfilling my dreams and I would not have done that without Break.'

Mr Macklin-Page said his Break film highlights the difference between perceptions of children in care and reality.

In one scene a girl walks into a bedroom where children are shouting and fighting. As she enters, everyone stops to stare at her before continuing to fight. She then lies on her bed and curls up into a ball.

A parallel scene is then shown with a young boy sitting in his room playing on a computer. Another youngster knocks on the door and is invited in to play with him.

Mr Macklin-Page said: 'It has been amazing to work with some talented and bright young people and the majority of the ideas for the film came from them.

'Many young people in children's homes get stigmatised as bad when they have done nothing wrong. Often through no fault of their own, their parents haven't been able to look after them. One of the kids said that, through this film, he wanted to show people that he is not in a children's home because he is bad, he is in one because the world has been bad to him.'

CEO of Break Chris Hoddy said: 'Jarone is a great example of how young people can do well in care and I am delighted he has chosen to pass on his positive experiences to the next generation within Break.

'I am always amazed at the talent and fortitude young people in care show despite great adversity and public misunderstanding.'

The film will be shown at The Forum in Norwich on October 18 and on Break's website.

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