A lead nurse's view – Kirsty Brant on 'Last Chance School'
When we were first approached by Century Films to consider doing a documentary at Gloucester House I was extremely sceptical. My gut reaction was ‘no way’ – while our children are extremely vulnerable, they are also easily misunderstood due to the extremity of their behaviours. We didn’t want a sensationalised film without context or without hope. The team from Century Films have been amazing – Alice, Emily and Pete conveyed to us that they wanted to make a film about the children and families so that they could tell their stories. They eventually won our trust through their authenticity and their belief in our service.
I entered the process with trepidation but I had a strong sense that the vision was to make a film that ‘gave voice’ to our children and families whilst also trying to capture the essence of the work at Gloucester House – which is messy, complicated and difficult to explain. This is a dynamic and challenging environment but within this there are important moments of therapeutic hope and change. I knew that to capture these moments we had to take the plunge and be brave.
My hope is that this film will help to educate people about the children we work with and the many others like them who have experienced trauma in their lives; to nurture empathy, compassion and insight. One of the things we struggle with here is the sense of inadequacy and hopelessness that the children can bring with them. As an institution we have a crucial role in holding on to the hope – of the capacity to change, to make progress and for things to get a bit better.
I am excited about the film and extremely proud of it. But it also an anxiety-provoking experience for all involved. We are people doing a job that we feel passionately about but you never know how others will see it. My overarching hope is that we have done our children and families proud alongside all the people that have worked to build Gloucester House over the years.
Thanks Century Films.
An unprecedented number of children in the UK are being diagnosed and treated for a mental health disorder. This film follows three of these...