Our Film Wins The People’s Choice Award

Our film, made with a 7-year-old boy from Chelmsford and his healthcare hero, has won a People’s Choice Award at the National Charity Film Awards.

The film, produced by Healthwatch Essex, captured the moment that Joshua Newman was reunited with the cardiac consultant who kept him alive when he was born very prematurely, with significant heart complications, at Broomfield Hospital. Joshua suffered six cardiac arrests and pioneering heart surgery at The Royal Brompton Hospital later saved his life.

As part of a competition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Josh told Healthwatch Essex about his healthcare hero, Dr Babu. The charity subsequently filmed an emotional reunion as part of Josh’s heartfelt thank you to the NHS.

Last night, Joshua, his mum Suzy, Dr Babu and the team at Healthwatch Essex gathered online for the virtual awards ceremony. The short film, which was captured entirely on phone cameras and with no budget, received more public votes than any other film in its category, beating off competition from large national campaigns and charities, to win The People’s Choice Award.

Rachel Horton-Smyth, Communications Lead at Healthwatch Essex, said: “We are just amazed and so very grateful to the public for supporting this film. It captures a wonderful moment and, more broadly, Joshua’s desire to thank the NHS – something which people across the UK are doing constantly right now.

“Given that Healthwatch Essex represents the voice of the people in health and social care, it is very fitting that we won The People’s Choice Award. A massive thank you must go to Joshua, his mum Suzy and Dr Babu for letting us film this moment, and to the wider public for getting behind the film and voting for us. We are very appreciative.”

Suzy Newman, Josh’s mum, said: “We are just completely over the moon! We can’t believe that many people got behind us and supported the film. Thank you!

“I think the film is a story of hope and my greatest wish was that it would resonate with families all over the country, simply because it is such a powerful reminder of all that is great about the NHS.

“I can’t thank enough everyone who helped to make this happen. Josh is ecstatic!”

Joshua said: “I am so happy. Lots and lots of people voted for us which is brilliant. Thank you, everyone.

“And most importantly a big, big thank you to the NHS. All of this has been for them. Without them I wouldn’t be here.”

You can view the film here.