Following up our premiere week, we are teaming up with X Factor’s finalist Max Stone for the exclusive premiere of his latest single “Looking For A Place Called Home”, where we find Max getting back to his reggae roots, the song was produced by Grammy award winning producer Jazzwad and D Goody (Jessie J, Speech DeBelle, Tanika). Max has been adding the finishing touches to his album ‘Keep Rising’ in Jamaica. The album is a powerful statement that examines love and war and all things between. His new single ‘Looking For A Place Called Home’ featuring the Visual Ministry Choir features remixes from Wideboys, & Marc Baigent & Element Z. The track is released to raise awareness for Shirley Oaks Survivors Association. SOSA works to highlight the abuse suffered by hundreds of former Lambeth Care children in the UK’s largest children’s home Shirley Oaks, based in Croydon and run by Lambeth Council. SOSA also hope to raise awareness for the national problem.
On the song, Max comments
‘Looking for a Place Called Home started as a track with Tanika Bailey to feature in my new album. It was written as a song to reflect the struggle to find a place to call your own. My manager Raymond Stevenson has been leading the SOSA campaign and I wanted to help. When he asked if the song could be used to help build awareness it felt like it was meant to be. I re-recorded the song to better reflect the Shirley Oaks survivors’ struggle.”
On Dec 15th, SOSA will publish their report after a two-year investigation of Shirley Oaks Children’s Home which identifies 60 pedophiles connected to the home.
Looking For A Place Called Home not only relates to SOSA members but is also dedicated to all victims of child abuse and the recent revelations around footballers. Using music and video to reach out to people, SOSA hopes the song will raise awareness and unity. If we are going to protect our young people, society must unite and stand together.
Of all the scandals covered up by the child abuse inquiry, currently chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, the story of Shirley Oaks care home is among the most shocking and disturbing of all. Alongside the crisis-hit public inquiry, currently on its fourth chairwoman in just two years with several senior lawyers resigning in recent weeks at a cost of over £100 million, SOSA has compiled its own independent report, taking testimonials about abuse from over 400 of its members.
The SOSA report features witness testimony, extracts from official documents that have been leaked to them, as well as statements from former staff and “house parents” who now support them and will prove that Shirley Oaks was infiltrated by pedophiles from the mid-1950s until its closure in 1983. They have identified 60 pedophiles and the investigation has led to a number of arrests outside of official police investigations.
On Friday 18th November, SOSA officially withdrew from the public inquiry branding it an ‘unpalatable circus’ and stating that it has lost confidence in the leadership.
The inquiry, set up by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, has repeatedly stressed that the confidence of victims and survivors in the inquiry is paramount. Yet Professor Jay has not contacted or met with the SOSA since her appointment in August. The inquiry has been beset by difficulties since it was set up in July 2014 to investigate allegations made against local authorities, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions in England and Wales, as well as people in the public eye.
Three chairwomen – former president of the High Court Family Division Baroness Butler-Sloss, her replacement, leading lawyer Dame Fiona Woolf, and Justice Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge – have already stood down before Prof Jay took her place.
Following the resignation of four barristers over recent weeks who resigned over the handling of the inquiry, QC Michael Mansfield says there has been a “dismal failure” to work with survivors groups when picking candidates to lead the inquiry. In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight he said the inquiry has “crumbled” adding: “What has gone seriously wrong here is a dismal failure to consult with the survivors’ groups from the beginning, about appointments and about the substantive materials that have to be assembled.”