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Ariel Trust: spotting the early warning signs

Ariel Trust is an educational charity that specialises in developing interactive educational software that engages disadvantaged learners in a range of social topics, from alcohol and drug abuse to radicalisation and fake news.  Founded in Liverpool in 1982, they specialise in consulting young people, teachers and other professionals through digital content and now work with over 300 schools across the North West.

Paul Ainsworth, Director at Ariel Trust explains: ‘Our mission is to create the most effective anti-violence resources in the UK. We look at many different subject matters, from domestic violence and online bullying, to grooming and sexual exploitation.

We work in close partnership with Wirral teachers, parents and young people to make films about the risky situations that they might find themselves in, then we ask them to think about how they would get out of that situation.’

Through continuous testing and improvement, Ariel Trust uses an evidence-based approach designed to motivate and engage young people, changing their attitudes, behaviour and levels of achievement. Their work is considered by many to be best practice, and their resources have even been used across the continent, with some material being translated in to Polish and used in schools in Warsaw.

‘The evidence is clear; skills-based learning changes behaviour’ Paul continues. ‘We don’t make films for schools; we make films with schools. All the ideas come from the children. We write a script and then take it back to the schools and say, “Does that script reflect what’s going on in your school?” It’s completely tailor-made. It allows teachers to facilitate a discussion for our young people and to understand their needs more carefully, and that’s how we make change.’

To find out more about Ariel Trust, visit