New series of Armchair Adventures launched for Black History Month

Armchair Adventures - Black History Month. Made by Mortals with members of CAHN and B Positive choir

A popular Manchester-based interactive children’s podcast is launching its second series with a special episode for Black History Month this October. The project is backed by Rev Charles Kwaku-Odoi, who is the Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester and the chief officer for the Caribbean and African Health Network in Manchester (CAHN).

 

The series two launch episode was co-created and recorded with a group of people from the Caribbean and African community in Manchester. It was created and written during the Euros 2021 and the World Cup qualifiers, where young Black players were subjected to vile racism. The launch episode is now being released on Thursday, October 14 to help people to talk about racism with children.

Music theatre organisation Made by Mortals created Armchair Adventures during lockdown in 2020 with various community groups. Since then, it has had more than 25,000 listens, a letter of commendation from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and has been called a ‘positive podcast’ by BBC Radio 4.

Charles Kwaku-Odoi DL, Chief Officer of CAHN, said: “The group really enjoyed their time working with Made By Mortals, talking about their life experiences, making new connections and playing a part in getting out important messages around racism and discrimination.”

The episode brings back our main character from series 1, 15-year-old Connie, who meets an inspirational group of people from the Caribbean and African community, and is taken on a journey of the imagination to learn about racial equality.

The group invite Connie to sing with their choir, however, Connie feels that she can’t participate, because being a young, white British girl, she does not know about their histories or experiences. Connie and the group go on an armchair adventure through history, to observe some iconic events and meet key historical figures. Through this, Connie realises that everyone must unite to support racial equality and that it is everyone’s responsibility.

Andy Smith, composer and director at Made by Mortals, said: “We’re so happy to work alongside this group and CAHN to create this really special episode. We have also been working with an educational advisor to create a teaching resource to sit alongside the podcast, which will help teachers talk about racism in an age-appropriate way.”

Made by Mortals works with groups of people across Greater Manchester to create the interactive podcast adventures. Each episode is inspired by a person’s own experience, knowledge and passions and expressed through drama, music and immersive sound design.

The stories follow lead character Connie (professional actress Hannah Donelon), whose parents run a travel agency that had to close due to coronavirus. With the help of her customers (the community group members), she takes them on exciting fictional journeys of the imagination.

The podcast is written especially for children to enjoy and eight episodes of series 1 are available online and on podcast apps for anyone to listen to. Eight episodes of series two will be released between October 2021 and March 2022.

This project was funded by Manchester City Council Covid Impact Fund and The Big Life Group’s Manchester Social Prescribing Development Fund. With support from our funders, we are particularly proud to be offering routes for social prescribing through this project.

Made by Mortals also gives a huge thanks to the B Positive Choir for joining in and recording the podcast episode with us.

For more information, visit: https://www.madebymortals.org/armchair-adventures/

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