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A group of Sheffield Hallam University students have animated a book which is aimed at encouraging children to speak out about abuse.

The book, Share Some Secrets, was written by acclaimed children's authorChristina Gabbitas, who visited the University to officially launch the 2D digital animation, at a special event attended by the NSPCC who are supporting the project as it helps children speak out and stay safe.

The short film was developed by a group of nine current amination students alongside two recent graduates, Liam Hall and Dan Hodgson, who have set up their own studio called Cosmic Monocle.

The book is aimed at children aged between five and eight-years-old, addressing the difference between good and troublesome secrets; encouraging them to speak out if they are being abused.

Christina Gabbitas said: "We teach our children to look out when crossing the road and we teach them to swim to keep them safe in the water. We should be educating our children about not keeping secrets that would be better shared and give them the confidence to speak out. We don’t want children to harbour secrets that will have a detrimental effect on the rest of their lives.

"Sheffield Hallam's animation students have brought Share Some Secrets to life with their short film and we hope this will mean more children, who may not read the book, will see it and understand the messages behind it; encouraging them to speak out.

"I am very grateful for the support of Sheffield Hallam University with such an important topic."

Melvyn Ternan, senior lecturer in animation who co-ordinated the team of students, said: "Our students worked closely with Christina and the team behind Share Some Secrets to ensure that the important message behind the book remained at the forefront of what we have produced.

"The film works as Christina’s story still comes across and everything is kept identifiable and relatable to the book. I am proud of the work the students put into this project."

Anne Murphy (Lord Mayor), Melvyn Ternan (Animation lecturer), Brain Hamilton-Tweedale (Head of Media Arts and Communication), Christina Gabbitas (author), Jasmine Blogg, Sophie May, Sean Summers, Curtis Hartley, Mikey McCulloch-Holmes (Animation students)

Click to view the image

Mikey McCulloch-Holmes, a third-year animation student who worked on the project, said: "It was a really interesting project to work on. It's an important book that needs to share ideas with young children in a simple but friendly way, so we had to make sure the animation struck the same tone."

The event, held at the University, included a screening of the new animation, talks with Christina, Melvyn and Karen Squilino, head of children's school service NSPCC and words by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. There was also a Q&A session with Christina and the animation team.

Karen Squillino Head of School Service for the NSPCC said: “The NSPCC believes every childhood is worth fighting for and anything focused on helping achieve that goal is to be welcomed.

“Child abuse is preventable and it’s up us all to do everything possible to keep children safe from abuse, so they can grow up and thrive.

“This is an exciting and colourful way to help children speak out and stay safe.”

You can see the animation, as well as finding out about the Share Some Secrets project by visiting

For press information: Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email