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Kids on the Edge: Last Chance School

Channel 4 documentary Kids on the Edge: Last Chance School, follows three children in Gloucester House, including 11-year-old Josh, who was adopted at the age of six. 

   Josh

 

Josh is the eldest of a sibling group of three boys, who were aged four, five and six, when they were adopted by Adoption UK members Phill and Stig, six years ago.

During the filming, up until Summer 2016, Josh was in his final year at the NHS-run school for children with complex emotional and behavioural problems, before he moved back into mainstream education.

Speaking ahead of the broadcast on Wednesday (23rd November 2016) at 10pm, Stig said: "Our oldest son Josh was diagnosed with Severe Attachment Disorder and at the age of nine our local primary school wasn’t able to manage his challenging behaviour. This was a very difficult time for us as a family. We were first able to see the light at the end of the tunnel when he started at a specialist school, Gloucester House Day Unit, part of Tavistock Portman NHS. At this school he was able to access intensive psychotherapy and group therapy, in addition to education.

hope for their children's future

"This documentary looks at the great work Gloucester House is doing for children who in most cases have been excluded from a mainstream school."

Stig told Adoption UK that he and Phill agreed to take part in the documentary to give other parents in their situation "hope for their children's future".

He explained: "We would like to raise awareness of Gloucester House and the positive impact it has had on our family. Without the help from Gloucester House our family situation would be totally different. For almost four years we were close to an adoption breakdown. In addition to the therapeutic educational work they did with our son, Phill and I accessed therapy to get through a very difficult time as a family."

Still hope

Stig continued: "We hope the documentary will increase the level of understanding and also help to secure funding to services like Gloucester House. We need to invest in our children's future! It's not our son's fault he had a difficult start in life, so it’s our duty to help him in a way so he can have the same bright future like most children in the UK. This service should be accessible for everyone in need of it!"

Asked why he wanted to take part in the documentary, Josh replied: “Children who haven’t had a great start to life, like myself, have to see that there’s still hope and still a good chance to grow up to be a nice adult and have a great life like I have.”

Stig added: "Our son has now settled into a secondary mainstream school and is doing great. We still have challenges, but the future is bright!"

For more information about Gloucester House click here.