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Stratford’s young people star in new documentary

Wednesday 15 November 2017

A new documentary about young people’s bereavement, starring young people from Stratford, premiered at The Stratford upon Avon Picturehouse on 20th November at 5pm.

The Shakespeare Hospice Young People’s Services commissioned the film, called ‘Our Story,’ thanks to funding from The National Lottery.  The funding enabled them to work alongside professional film maker, Chris Bradley, to create a film with local young people who are supported by the Hospice, who have experienced the death of a loved one.

The screening of the film, which was by invitation only, was launched to coincide with Children’s Grief Awareness Week, which highlights that bereaved young people are not alone; there are other young people out there going through difficult times and learning to live with their loss.

The young people were involved in all aspects of making the film, from deciding on the themes they wished to convey, to telling their own personal stories about bereavement. The group worked together over a period of a month earlier this year, and Ingrid, aged 15 from Stratford who lost her Dad spoke of her experience of being involved in the making of the film:  She said: “It’s opened my eyes to the differences between people and how everyone experiences grief differently, so I know that I am not alone and that my experience is completely normal.”

The film was seen by around 80 people, including some Head Teachers from local schools, the Mayor of Stratford, Cllr Victoria Alcock and a representative from BBC Children in Need, who funds the Children’s Bereavement Service at the Hospice. 

After the film, Allison Hinds, from BBC Children In Need, said: “A very powerful film.  The experiences were told beautifully through the young people.  This film will be a very good tool to help other bereaved young people seek help and know that they are not alone.”

Jane Hutton, teacher from King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon said: “Powerful and deeply moving.  The words of these amazing young people will stay with me.  This film will be a great support to those who have lost a parent as well as those around them, such as friends, classmates and teachers.”

Cllr Victoria Alcock, Mayor of Stratford said: “This film has helped to deepen my understanding of a child’s grief. These young people’s bravery touched me and I will continue to help spread the word about this film and how it can help our young people.”

Alison Burford, Lead Children and Family Practitioner at The Shakespeare Hospice said: “We are so proud of what the young people involved have achieved, they have come together and shared their experiences, exposing their vulnerabilities and supporting each other throughout the whole process. They have all been very brave.”

The young people unanimously felt that by sharing their story, they could help other young people who are going through the same thing. Freya, aged 15, from Wellesbourne who lost her Mum said: “I would like the film to be used to help people.  If someone else hears my story, it might help someone else not feel so isolated.”

Following the launch of the 10 minute film, The Shakespeare Hospice plans to take the documentary to local schools to help young people and professionals understand how it feels for a young person who is bereaved and how they can be supported.

The Shakespeare Hospice Children’s Bereavement service supports children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 when someone close to them is seriously ill or has died, through one to one sessions and support groups. The group recently created a charter which is now used for training teachers about child bereavement in local schools

For more information about The Shakespeare Hospice Children’s Bereavement Service, please contact: Alison Burford, Family Support Practitioner, tel: 01789 266852, email: ABurford@theshakespearehospice.org.uk.

 

Note to editors:

1.     The Shakespeare Hospice provides exceptional palliative and support care to 1000 patients and their families across South Warwickshire and the North Cotswolds, via our patient and family support services and in the local community through Hospice at Home.   The Children and Young People’s Service provides support for bereaved children and young carers, as well as a transitional care service for those between 16-24 with life limiting illness.

2.    Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK is designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK, and how providing those affected with free, professional support can make the world of difference to their future. The theme for the week is #YoureNotAlone – we can all make a difference to make sure that bereaved children and young people’s voices are heard.Children’s Grief Awareness Week 2016 is an initiative launched by the Childhood Bereavement Network, the UK body for support groups in the grief and bereavement sector, and Grief Encounter, one of the UK’s leading bereavement charities.

https://www.theshakespearehospice.org.uk/EventEnhanced/136/jollyjumper

Jolly Jumper, December 2017

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