Zack’s Story animations tackle societal issues

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Animation resource: Chapter two of Zack's Story focuses on disability hate crime

Zack’s Story is a series of short stop-motion animations aimed at helping teachers and other educators to raise awareness of issues such as loneliness, hate crime and county lines.

They have been created by United Response, a national charity that supports adults with learning disabilities, mental health needs and physical disabilities across England and Wales.

The animations are suitable for use with secondary and older primary students and are aimed at stimulating discussion in the classroom.

Chapter 1 focuses on loneliness: Zack discovers the importance of friendship and community in overcoming loneliness and finds way to stay connected even during a lockdown.

Chapter 2 focuses on hate crime and county lines issues: Zack’s best friend, Daniel, experiences a hate crime and Zack narrowly avoids getting caught up in a county lines gang.

The seven-minute films were created by the charity's Devon and Cornwall branch and are narrated entirely by people which the charity supports, while music used in the films has also been recorded by people with learning disabilities.

Societal issues: Chapter one of Zack's Story focuses on experiences of loneliness

The charity has also published “Animation Diaries”, which take pupils behind-the-scenes to find out more about how and why the animations were made. The diary for chapter one can be found here.

The charity is keen to hear from schools and teachers about how these resources can and have been used in the classroom, and would also like suggestions for topics to feature in the next chapter of Zack’s Story.

Therese Timberlake, senior area manager for United Response in Devon and Cornwall, said: “If people with learning disabilities do not feel safe where they live, they will not be able to feel confident in accessing community facilities such as shops and pubs. This can lead to seclusion within their own homes which might then bring about further risk of abuse from isolation. As a society, we must come together to educate and empower on this burning issue.”


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