"I felt safe and listened to at school" - says Derbyshire's Terri White as her podcast wins prestigious award

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Terri White’s podcast has received the gold award for the Best Factual Series at the ARIAs 2024.

After bronze and silver awards for the Best Factual Series at Audio and Radio Industry Awards (ARIA) were announced, Terri White was sure that her podcast won’t receive any award. But as the presenter started praising the gold award winner for incredible investigative journalism and creative sound design, she became hopeful.

When she heard the title of her podcast, she burst into tears. She started jumping up and screaming – alongside colleagues who she worked on the podcast with.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “I'm not a big crier but I couldn’t believe we won the gold award. We were shocked. We were up against some fantastic programmes including the Partygate and The Shamima Begum Story.

Terri White grew up in Inkersall.Terri White grew up in Inkersall.
Terri White grew up in Inkersall.

"We hadn't prepared any speech because we didn't think we would win. We were really overwhelmed. We were so passionate about the project and put a lot of hard work into it. I did a speech off the top of my head and I used it as an opportunity to highlight the problem of kids missing from school.”

‘Terri White: Finding Britain's Ghost Children' at BBC Sounds looks into the issue of children missing from school since the pandemic, investigating reasons behind it and looking into devastating impact this has on vulnerable kids.

The podcast, which won Silver at the New York Radio Festivals Radio Awards, was inspired by the story of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes who was killed by his step-mum and dad during the Covid lockdown.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Terri, originally from Inkersall, said: “Arthur was bright and funny, he loved Marvel, he loved going to school. The thought that he'd been deliberately kept away from school and killed, really drove us to fight for children like him.

"There are children at risk missing from school, but then there are kids out of school for other reasons, who are not getting a chance for an education. Kids with special educational needs, and disabilities, kids in poverty, in deprived areas. I don’t feel that either the government or opposition are treating the situation with the gravity it deserves.”

In the podcast, Terri combined investigative journalism and her own story – as school was a safe place for her when home was a place of violence and fear.

She said: "For me the school was vital. When I walked through the school gates, I wasn't scared for the first time that day. I had somewhere safe to go and I was able to get an education.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I feel very lucky to have been taught by Mrs Webley who made a massive difference to my life. What I loved so much about school was that it was a place where I could be heard, but also protected and looked after. I'll never forget Inkersall Primary for giving me that.

"We don't always listen to kids, and we often don’t give them their voice in the media. That’s why it was important for me to be the voice of kids, who are in a situation like I was back then. We wanted to give those kids a platform of their own so they could speak about why they may not be going to school and the truth of what is going on in their lives.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.