Stacey Dooley: Gypsy Kids in Crisis
Caught between anti-gypsy hostility, demands of child protection services, and growing up in struggling families, Stacey explores if there’s any hope for Hungary’s Roma gypsy kids in care.
Every day in the UK over a hundred children face the death of their mum or dad.
Behind this statistic are many untold and heart rending stories. Saying Goodbye, a special film from award winning director Nick Read & production company True Vision, features a group of 7-17 year olds who have been bereaved, and a few who are facing the death of a parent. In their own words, these brave children share their heart wrenching experiences and memories, with the aim of helping other young people who are facing a similar circumstance.
Those who have already experienced bereavement form a ‘chorus’ of voices; sisters Lilia, aged 7 and Ellie, 10; brothers Ben, aged 9 & Sam, 11; 13 year old twins Sam & Ellie; Bethany, 14 and Shayna, 17. In turn they explain their grief, from the moment they first learnt that a parent was ill, to when they understood they were not going to get better, the moment of death and the difficult aftermath of funerals and grieving.
Interwoven throughout their revealing testimonies are two unfolding stories of children preparing to lose someone special.
Sisters Imogen, aged 12 and Madeleine, aged 9, from South Wales explain how they are coming to terms with their mother’s terminal cancer. In unfiltered and eloquent words, they reveal their fears about the future and how their mother Dawn is preparing them for a life after she is gone. Together they have selected wedding dresses, first cars and even homes – creating memories to equip them for a future life without their mother.
Amy Rose, aged 13, from Berkshire is facing the uncertainty of knowing that her mother’s cancer could be life threatening – but neither of them know for sure. She articulates what it is like being on an emotional rollercoaster, and the importance of being positive for her mum Claire’s sake.
Luckily for Imogen, Madeleine and Amy Rose and the other young people sharing their stories, there is support available through the hundreds of organisations and unsung heroes around the country who support grieving children. One organisation featured in the film is The Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey which receives BBC Children in Need funding to provide therapeutic sessions and crisis response sessions to young people who are experiencing bereavement.
In this powerful, moving and life affirming film, the children show great honesty, strength and resilience whilst sharing their stories, in a film that is set to truly touch the hearts of viewers across the nation.
A True Vision production for BBC1
What the papers say:
The Guardian ‘Pick of the Day’ – “Their understanding and resilience is remarkable”.
The Daily Mail – “This powerful, heartbreaking film features a group of children, aged between 7 and 17, as they share their experiences of devastating loss.”
Daily Mirror – “You will cry buckets from the outset during this heartbreaking film…A candid film from an incredibly articulate and mature group of young people.”
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