A play written by a teenaged Whitgift School pupil, and backed by Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Jason Flemyng, has raised £1,200 for children’s charities after a five-night run at a theatre in central London.
The money was collected at the beginning and the end of Breathe which was a sell out at the Bunker Theatre on Southwark Street. The play explores mental health and teenaged suicide; the money raised by the play for Childline is enough to run the NSPCC service for one hour.
Aspiring actor George Jaques, who has just completed his A levels at the South Croydon independent school, wrote the play, which looks at the lives of six young people struggling with the every day pressures.
A budding impresario, Jaques started Athenaeum Productions when he was 16 years old. He is now working with Flemyng on a short film which looks at young people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being sexually abused, with the intention to send it to all film festivals next summer
Jaques, 18, said: “Many people I know have benefited from using Childline, so when I started working on Breathe and looking at which charity to support it was clear that Childline would be ideal.
“I really want to make sure the service continues and I will do anything I can to support it.
“My target was £500 so I’m thrilled we surpassed that figure by raising £1,243.96 and it’s all thanks to the audience members who gave so generously across the five nights.”
In 2016-2017, Childline delivered 101,454 counselling sessions about mental and emotional health, self-harm or suicidal feeling and thoughts.
Wendy Robinson, Childline’s London service manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to George for using his play Breathe to not only highlight mental health in the young but also raise awareness and money for Childline.
“Our counsellors are literally saving lives but at present Childline counsellors can only respond to three out of four children who try to reach us.
“Every penny raised for this crucial service helps us to meet the ever-increasing demand from young people across the UK who turn to Childline for support and advice in their hour of need.”
Children and young people who are struggling with mental health issues can get advice and support from Childline counsellors by calling 0800 1111 or by visiting the website www.childline.org.uk
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