A TEENAGER has used his experience of grief after the death of his mother to create an award-winning documentary.

James Bacon, from Bellingham, experienced the death of his mother in 2018 and found support through Tynedale Hospice at Home’s Family Support Team.

A growing love of film and media inspired him to study TV and film at Gateshead College. When tasked with creating his end of year film project, James decided to explore grief and loss in a documentary.

“It was a very personal experience,” James said. “Last year I lost my mum. I realised that grief is not spoken about publicly and I felt that this topic should be looked into.”

Part of the preparations for the documentary included conducting a survey to gather views and public perceptions about grief.

“I had over 70 respondents to my survey and they all said that this was a very emotional topic and that films and documentaries focus almost exclusively on the emotions,” he added.

“I wanted to look from different angles, yes the emotions because they are there and they are real, but also the theories about grief and grieving.”

Tynedale Hospice at Home support workers Emma Andrews and Val Jewitt feature in the film, talking about experiences of grief and developments in bereavement theory.

Also featured in the documentary is James’s brother David. “He was really willing to take part,”James said. “His comments are very honest and the emotions still raw.”

His documentary wowed college staff and saw him win the ‘Best Film of the Year’ award in the year one group at the college’s award ceremony at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.

James has given a copy of the film to Tynedale Hospice at Home so that it can share it with other beneficiaries of the family support service – adults, children and families dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Emma Andrews, family support practitioner, said: “James’s award-winning film is already proving to be a fantastic resource in our work with bereaved families here at the hospice. He clearly depicts not only the support we offer, but the impact our work can have. James’s insightful film provides a wonderful introduction to our work and we are so grateful to him for allowing us to use it.”