Time running out to fund potentially life-saving Sussex film

Time is running out to find the funds to make a crucial West Sussex film which could save young lives from suicide.

Lucy Rayner
Lucy Rayner

13-year-old Hastings-based rising star Darcy Jacobs brings a wealth of experience with her as she tackles her second film role with Horsham’s Fact Not Fiction Films.

The film will raise vital awareness for spotting the warning signs when it comes to young people’s mental health.

But the clocking is ticking.

Fact Not Fiction Films CEO Tristan Loraine has currently raised £3,545 raised of the £9,000 target he has set for filming to begin.

His deadline is August 18. If he can’t reach the target, sadly the film won’t be made.

Tristan is making the film in partnership with The Lucy Rayner Foundation, of which he is a trustee.

On May 5 2012, Jenny Rayner and her family in Reigate were tragically faced with the impact of mental illness when their daughter Lucy took her own life, aged just 22.

Jenny and her family were inspired to start campaigning about the mental health challenges faced by young adults; they quickly found the support and help available to recognise and treat young adults with mental health challenges was “woefully inadequate and significantly underfunded.” Hence they established The Lucy Rayner Foundation.

Jenny has promised to do all she can to make sure the money is found. The film isn’t Lucy’s story – but will make a major contribution to raising the awareness Jenny feels is vital. You can contribute on https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/finding-wilson-short-film“I really want to do this film because it will be seen by so many people. Mental health is so prevalent at the moment with the lockdown and the world we are living in. This film would be a great way of educating people.

“Education is at so many levels but it means really understanding what the signs and signals are for the onset of mental health (problems) in young people. It might not become apparent until late teenage, but there are warning signs that people can spot.

“You are looking at self-awareness… if you child is not talking, if they are not expressing what they are feeling, if they are overly sensitive, if they cry a lot, if they want to be on their own, if they have bursts of anger or they are saying things like feeling they don’t belong in the family.

“We need to be having these conversations with our children. We need to be checking in with them how they are feeling.”

These are inevitably difficult conversations to have: “But if you do it from an early age, it just becomes normal for them to talk about their feelings further down the line as teenagers and young adults so that they are able to talk about themselves and have the vocabulary to do so.

“In 2012 my daughter Lucy took her own life, and none of us knew she was even planning it. She had split up with her boyfriend the night before and we were due to go and visit one of my other daughters who was at university at Brunel at the time. We said she should come with us, but she said she wanted to be on her own.”

So Jenny went, thinking she would take Lucy out when she got back to cheer her up.

“When we were there at the university, we got a call saying ‘Are all your girls with you?’ They had found the body of a young girl in the woods at the back of our house. We just knew it was her. We just jumped in the car and drove at break-neck speed to get home, and the whole area was cordoned off. And the police just told us yes, it was her.”

Jenny admits sometimes she didn’t cope: “But I had two other girls (aged 21 and 24) who had lost their sister and were struggling. I think I just had to find the reserve to support them. My husband wasn’t doing very well at all with it. He took it really, really badly. I had to focus on keeping him safe and well. There was no time for me to break down at all. I didn’t bury it. I focussed it. I started putting the charity together.”

The film has a promo film on the crowdfunding link of: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/finding-wilson-short-filmMore details: https://www.facebook.com/FindingWilsonFilm