Funding will help create DVD of ‘No Goodbyes’ play

Derry’s Handful Productions have secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Healthy Minds NI programme to create a DVD of their acclaimed ‘No Goodbyes’ suicide awareness play. The £4,300 grant is one of several awarded to local projects.

Felicity McCall, co-founder of Handful Productions, believes this grant will be invaluable.

“This award will allow us to reach a much wider audience’,” Felicity told the ‘Journal’ this week.

“Since ‘No Goodbyes’ was developed with Steer Mental Health in 2007, it has toured schools, theatres, health and youth centres across the North West, always with trained volunteers from Steer and the Samaritans on hand to offer help should the performance raise issues for the audience.

“We have had many requests to tour, but we are non-profit making and this is simply not feasible. This funding will enable us to record ‘as live’ on March 5 and release the DVD to interested parties for a nominal payment of £4.50, with the strict proviso that trained counsellors are there when it is shown.”

“The message of ‘No Goodbyes’ is, sadly, as relevant as when I devised it four years ago with a group of people who have been bereaved by suicide or survived a suicide attempt. They shared their experiences with great honesty and generosity of spirit to help others.

“Knowing that ‘No Goodbyes’ has been instrumental in helping even one person to turn round their life vindicates the decision to undertake this project,” she added.

A Healthy Minds NI grant of £10,000 was also awarded to Creggan 60th Feile Committee to help improve well-being of older people.

£8,711 was awarded to the Foyle branch of Cruse Bereavement Care, and £9,750 was also awarded to Newbuildings Women’s Group for their Problem Shared project.