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‘So often children can be forgotten’ - Premiere for film tackling taboos around young people at funerals

PUBLISHED: 16:57 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:27 20 February 2020

A scene from the new short film from Rosedale Funeral Home which aims to teach children about what happens when a loved one dies. Picture: Rosedale Funeral Home/Blanc Creative

A scene from the new short film from Rosedale Funeral Home which aims to teach children about what happens when a loved one dies. Picture: Rosedale Funeral Home/Blanc Creative

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A film which breaks down taboos about funerals will be available to support youngsters impacted by the death of a loved one.

A scene from the new short film from Rosedale Funeral Home which aims to teach children about what happens when a loved one dies. Picture: Rosedale Funeral Home/Blanc CreativeA scene from the new short film from Rosedale Funeral Home which aims to teach children about what happens when a loved one dies. Picture: Rosedale Funeral Home/Blanc Creative

What Happens at a Funeral, which lasts for nine minutes and is aimed at children and teenagers, was premiered at the Assembly House in Norwich on Thursday, February 19.

It was the idea of Norfolk and Suffolk-based Rosedale Funeral Home which worked with the youth panel at Norfolk-based child bereavement charity Nelson's Journey on the short production and stars Norfolk residents.

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: BloodwiseSimon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise

What Happens at a Funeral, made by Norwich-based Blanc Creative, will be available to view online from February 20 and Rosedale Funeral Home co-founder Anne Beckett-Allen hopes it will be used by schools and child bereavement charities across the UK.

Mrs Beckett-Allen said the film was to "educate, dispel myths, break down taboos and empower young people".

Simon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: BloodwiseSimon Thomas with son Ethan and wife Gemma. Photo: Bloodwise

She added: "So often children can be forgotten. We have always known we wanted to make a film. We don't shy away from using words like dead, death and dying. We want to tell young people it is okay to cry and be sad.

"We know that attending a funeral has a positive impact on the grieving process. But how can young people attend a funeral if they don't know what happens? That is what we hope this film will achieve."

The funeral director said that many adults she spoke to regretted not attending family funerals when they were young.

She added the language within the film, which follows a fictional story of a 13-year-old girl losing her 79-year-old grandmother, was led by experiences of Nelson's Journey youth panel members.

The panel is made up of children and teenagers aged 11-17 most of whom have suffered a family bereavement.

Lorna Vyse, bereavement projects officer for Nelson's Journey, said: "The film is a fabulous resource. It will really help young people understand what goes on behind closed doors at a funeral. It was nice to see a project developed with young people. It will make a difference."

Simon Wright, chief executive of Nelson's Journey, said: "It is a brilliant film which families will find very engaging."

To view the film visit Rosedale Funeral Home's YouTube channel and www.rosedalefuneralhome.co.uk

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