Helen was one of Raising Films’ greatest behind-the-scenes champions in the last two years. She attended our first family-friendly BFI screening of The Secret of Kells with her two lovely daughters and subsequently became involved in the initial discussions and shaping of ideas for the CLOSR programme as we went through the funding application process. Helen was due to be one of the two coaches working on the programme but had to pull out as her cancer was diagnosed around that time. Despite everything else she had to think about, she took great care to introduce us to a fantastic replacement.
We kept in touch throughout her treatment and she was well enough to make it to the launch of our industry report last July, with her husband there for support as it was her first trip in London since being diagnosed.
She went on to introduce us to the team at Animated Women, consistently supporting our work with connections and encouragement that we were on the right path. As someone who had worked in training & development within the screen sectors most of her career, she had seen and heard every story about the challenges of inclusion and accessibility – so her endorsement of our work really meant a lot.
Sadly Helen’s battle with cancer ended on 22nd December 2017 and the funeral was yesterday. We send her family our love and will forever miss Helen’s wisdom and gentle encouragement as part of the Raising Films community.