YOUNGSTERS who have lived in care took centre stage at a gala premiere to launch their new music video How to Fly.

The group of young people were helped to write, perform, produce and film the music video by a team of professionals in York.

York rapper Liam “Kritikal” Powers, together with singer Isi Dawson, performed the new song How to Fly on stage at York St John University with the first showing of the film, which stars all of the youngsters.

The premiere won the backing of the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Julie Gunnell.

Music journalist and author Paolo Hewitt also turned up to give speeches and praise to the young people.

The Music4Care project was set up to give a voice to young care leavers from York, Selby and Ryedale by the lottery-funded Springboard, part of the Leeds-based charity Foundation.

It introduced the 18 people, aged from 17 to 20, to professional musicians, technicians and film-makers in York including Inspired Youth, Digital Sun Media, York St John University, Access to Music and City of York Council who helped them write their own song and make the film based on their experiences of living in care.

In emotional speeches in front of an audience of about 200 people the youngsters thanked all the people who helped them to make the video over the past weeks, which they hope will inspire others living in care.

One of the Springboard project members,17-year-old Izzy, said: “I really hope that after watching this amazing piece of music the audience will feel truly inspired and that it will change their view on what it is like to be a child in the care system.”

Coun Gunnell praised the video for helping young people to have their voices heard and promised to show it to all the city’s councillors.

“We need to inspire and look after the aspirations of young people in this city.

“This video helps their voices to be heard.

“It is amazing.”

Paolo Hewitt, a music journalist and biographer who has written about his own experiences in care, read from his new book But We All Shine On where he recounts his story of revisiting friends and his old care home.

He said: “Care makes unique people of us all.

“Most of my experiences were positive,we were all in it together.”

He added: “Whatever your dream is keep at it, don’t let anything take you from the path.”

Kev Curran, from Inspired Youth, a not-for-profit enterprise which helped make the film, thanked the youngsters for the inspiration they brought to the project.

“It has been an inspirational project which has seen the young participants get involved at every stage.

“Through a series of creative workshops they have written the lyrics, sung alongside rapper Kritikal, and vocalist Isi Dawson, had a direct influence on the production of the track and been directly involved in shooting and performing the video.”