A crowdfunding campaign is underway to help save an ambitious TV Pilot project set in a care home which was benefitting young people with SEND and bringing some famous faces to the area until one of it’s stars suffered a devastating and untimely injury.
Henry House is an independently produced care home comedy drama that has been filming at nearby Derwen College since January. The show was starring TV legend, Peter Purves (Blue Peter) in his fifty year comeback to acting. Other big names who have been working on the project are Ian McNeice (Doc Martin), Mark Benton (Mark Benton), Annette Badland (Ted Lasso), Simon Fisher-Becker (Doctor Who) and Colin Spaull (The Inbetweeners).
But what has set Henry House apart from any other production is not it’s famous faces, but the unique opportunities it has been providing for young people with special educational needs and disabilities [SEND], as they have been able to gain invaluable work experience on a professional TV set working alongside these famous actors.
Some of these young people with SEND have even impressed to the point that they’re now playing major roles and the team behind Henry House was recently recognised with a national award for their work with the SEND community.
Unfortunately, though, the whole production was shut down just three weeks away from wrapping on the project when Peter Purves, now 85, fell and broke his wrist at home.
Due to the continuity and availability issues this accident caused to an already tight schedule, the only way to save the production would be to re-shoot the entire project from scratch in the autumn. However, that also means the team having to re-finance the entire project from scratch as well, having raised the full amount needed once already.
Writer/Director, Gareth Owain David Thomas explains, “Due to filming scenes out of order, as is the norm to do, there was no way of continuing as we were or ‘writing it in’ as many have suggested.
And by the time we return in the autumn, everyone will have changed over the course of a summer. That’s to be expected. So this really is our only option.”
An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been running as one of many fundraising streams to try and raise the money needed to help save the production and everybody’s hard work.
But the campaign has been set up and inspired to help a very particular group, as Gareth explains, “We all care about this project a great deal. But the people we most want to save this for is not our famous names because they’ve had careers. We want to save this for the talented young people with SEND who, we have to face facts, will probably not get another chance like this if we fail.
It’s a sad indictment of the way the world is but, unfortunately, if Henry House disappears then the likelihood is that any industry opportunities like this will go with it.”
Check out the campaign and see if you can help save the care home comedy drama project that is not just being made about the SEND community, but is being made BY the SEND community. It’s got off to a good start but more support is still desperately needed and only runs until later this month.
There are major, unique perks available that other donators have already benefitted from, such as getting to go on a tour of the set, or being sent the original signed scripts used by the actual TV legends working on the project:
Alternatively, contact the team behind Henry House at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Production Manager, Luke on 07925063888 for more information.