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Youth bereavement film premieres in Stratford

A documentary on youth bereavement premiered earlier this week on Monday 20 of November at the Stratford Picturehouse.

The film, called ‘Our Story,’ which stars six Stratford area youth, was commissioned by the Shakespeare Hospice Young People’s Service with funding from The National Lottery.

The project gave the youth an opportunity to work with professional film maker, Chris Bradley, to create a film with local young people who’re supported by Hospice, and have experienced the death of a loved one. The screening of the film coincided with Children’s Grief Awareness Week, which highlighted how grieving youth were not alone, and that there are other people going through similar tough times.

The youth were involved in a many areas of making the film, such as choosing themes, to telling their own stories about bereavement. The group of youth worked together for about a month earlier this year making the film.

Ingrid Ash, aged 15 from Stratford, who lost her dad spoke of her experience in 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.”

Around 80 people watched the film’s premiere, including some head teachers from local schools, the mayor of Stratford and a representative from the BBC Children in Need program, who funds the Children’s Bereavement Service at Hospice.

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.”

After the launch of the 10 minute film the Shakespeare Hospice plans to take the documentary to local schools in an effort to help young people and professionals understand how it feels for a grieving youth, and how best to support them.

Freya Fitch, 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.”

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