Josh & Healthwatch Essex in running for National Film Award

A 6-year-old boy from Chelmsford who had six cardiac arrests when he was just days old is asking for the public’s support to help him win a National Award.

Joshua Newman was born prematurely at Broomfield Hospital, with severe heart complications which left him fighting for his life.

Last year, as part of a competition run by Healthwatch Essex to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Joshua named Dr Babu – his consultant – as his healthcare hero.

Joshua won the patient experience award and Healthwatch Essex filmed an emotional reunion between Joshua and Dr Babu.

The short film, which was captured entirely on phone cameras and with no budget, has been shortlisted for the National Charity Film Awards and Joshua is on the campaign trail to get as many votes as possible.

The finalists will be decided entirely by public vote.

Dr Babu with Joshua and his mum, Suzy

Suzy Newman, Joshua’s mum, said: “Healthwatch Essex is the only local charity to have made the shortlist which is incredible and now we need the people of Essex to get behind us and support us with their vote.

“The film is a story of hope – one which I hope will resonate with families all over the county, in particular those who have had the experience of having a premature baby or those who are going through IVF.

“It is also a powerful reminder of all that is great about the NHS – there will never be enough words for me to thank them for all that they’ve done for us.”

Joshua said: “The doctors and dentists are really important – they look after your body. The doctor fixed my heart which is really good because I would have died.

“I would be really proud to win an award because I earnt it for something. I would be very happy. But what matters most is to be part of a team. I want all of us to win the trophy.

“Please vote for us!”

Dr David Sollis, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex said: “It’s our job to capture people’s experiences of health and social care across the county and use them to create positive change. We have found one of the most powerful ways of doing that is through film.

“It can sometimes be difficult to find ways to hear the voice of children in the system, so we have made proactive attempts to engage with them and understand more about what works well, and what doesn’t work so well for them, within health and social care.

“This poignant film resulted from those efforts, but we are now up against other national charities to get through to the final rounds of judging –  so we really need the support of the people of Essex to make sure Joshua and Dr Babu are finalists!”

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The Charity Film Awards celebrate the very best films and videos been created by charities and CICs in the UK. Since its launch in 2017 over 1000 charity films have entered the Charity Film Awards and over ¼ million members of the public have voted. The public vote, along with a panel of experts will determined the final winners, who will be announced at a gala event at a prestigious venue in London in Spring 2020.