Lyn Ferrand

 

Writer and Director Lyn Ferrand founded Turning Point Theatre Company in 1989. In 2000 she co-founded Buzzword Interactive Films and made award winning theatre and training film dramas.

Working in association with a variety of voluntary and statutory agencies over a period of 14 years she was commissioned to write and direct plays and films that looked at diverse health and social issues. She designed and ran training programmes using theatre and film. Clients included The Crown Prosecution Service, The Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon County Council, Lancashire County Council, the Scottish Mental Health Association, Women’s Aid, Rethink UK and Carers UK. Lyn worked with director and humanist Augusto Boal  She wrote forum theatre plays and worked as a forum theatre practitioner for many different clients in the field of health and social care. Her article about her work with carers is published in Contemporary Theatre Review: http://www.informaworld.com

Lyn is married, has four adult children, four grandchildren and is a carer for her husband.

NEWS!

THE LOST CHILD can now be viewed on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdiduw8roJvCDiVoFqtRA.

On March 17th 2021 Lyn was delighted to be asked to help present the winning entry for the System Led Support For Carers Award at the HSJ Awards ceremony, hosted online by Lenny Henry. WINNER: Devon County Council and Devon CCG – Together for Devon Carers Hospital Service.

Contact Lyn here: lyn.ferrand@zen.co.uk

Other award-winning work:

 

Lyn’s film THE LOST CHILD has been described as  :  “An example of exceptionally effective learning”

The Lost Child training DVD was commissioned by Lancashire Social Services for the ACPC . It was written and directed by Lyn, produced by Mike Berenger and shot by Greg Browning.

The film was:

  • Highly Commended at The Community Care Awards
  • Highly Commended at the Cumbria and Lancashire SHA Achievement Awards
  • Winner of The National Training Awards North West
  • Winner of The Skills for Care Training Accolade and was awarded 4 stars in Community Care Magazine.

The Lost Child is currently being used nationally and internationally (University of Southern Australia) and has proved to be a very useful and innovative training resource.

“North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust is using the DVD 
The Lost Child as a component of its mandatory two day Safeguarding Children Training which is provided to all clinicians and practitioners working within NEPFT. The DVD is used as an interactive exercise within which professionals explore the impact of parental mental illness on the child and the knowledge of professionals working in different domains and agencies.
The response to the DVD – (which has been used as part of the mandatory training programme for over three years with more than 750 professionals) – has always been excellent. It enables professionals to consider the impact of mental illness on relationships, the position of the child and frequent absence of the child’s voice in adult mental health services. Following use of the DVD as an interactive exercise, professionals link the lessons learned into policy and procedure – for example the use of genograms in all assessments. The DVD is thus an essential component in translating theory regarding the impact of parental mental illness on children and families into practice”     
Consultant, Safeguarding Children & Adults. North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust

COMMUNITY CARE MAGAZINE:

“I hope this DVD is an indicator of just how far on-a-shoestring, role play-reliant social care training has come. The fact that this is a DVD for one blows the cobwebs off the technophobe perception of top-loading VCRs, writes Graham Hopkins.

Back in the early 1990s, I remember having to use a video of Monty Python’s parrot sketch on my courses on social care complaints just to have a visual break. But it is the top-notch quality of this professional production that stands out. Happily, it is a quality that training resources – often themselves the neglected child of social care organisations – are increasingly now providing.

Bravely commissioned by Lancashire social services to explore child protection and parental mental illness, the 30-minute film for the most part convincingly traces the relationship between Alison (Anita Parry) a make-the-best-of-it mum and Nick (MikeBerenger) a mentally-ill study in smouldering tension.

It is seen in flashback through the eyes of their 16-year-old daughter, Tina (Frankie Waller), the acting star of the piece – despite her accent occasionally wandering up and down the M1. Her line, “I’m not a child – don’t think I’ve ever been a child,” is the film’s sound central message.”

THE LOST CHILD CAN BE VIEWED ON YOU TUBE HERE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdiduw8roJvCDiVoFqtRA_A

Star Rating: 4/5

Lyn’s play Aggravated Trespass was commissioned by The Crown Prosecution Service and The Devon Racial Equality Council. It was presented to an audience of judges, magistrates and police at a major conference in the South West.

A polished cast of actors delivered a telling script raising a number of highly pertinent issues around racism in rural communities. Peter Ellis (Chief Inspector Brownlow from ‘The Bill’) played a newly appointed JP who found himself hosting a ‘difficult’ dinner party where his student daughter introduced her black fiance and his barrister sister to two family friends whose attitudes to ethnic minorities were sadly all too familiar. The play required its audience to think carefully about how black people are received in the prosperous shires and how ‘liberal’ facades can so easily mask deeply irrational prejudices.”

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WORKING WITH CHILD PROTECTION AND OTHER HEALTH AND SOCIAL ISSUES

NEWS!  THE LOST CHILD film is now available to stream through VHX. Just click here: https://turnaroundfilms.vhx.tv/products/the-lost-child

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This is what our latest client says about the film:

‘I have been using the Lost Child as a film for students in my postgraduate social work subject on working with children and families (around 70 students). I explain that it is an excellent film that centres the voice and effects of complex family issues on children. There are some students that can’t attend class and streaming it would enable us to use it online.’  Dr Carole Zufferey, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, Social Work and Socal Policy, Magill Campus, Magill, Australia.

Turning Point Theatre Company and Buzzword Interactive Films created training programmes for a variety of voluntary and statutory agencies, from the nineties through to 2013. The subjects covered included the work done by informal carers; that is, people who look after a friend or relative at home, health matters, such as ageing, osteoarthritis, mental health, in particular Schizophrenia and child protection, looking at children who grow up in a family where there is parental mental illness.

carers1The projects carried out by the two companies are as relevant today as they were then, particularly the project commissioned by Lancashire Social Services: THE LOST CHILD. The film was the outcome of a series of day-long workshops for professionals, working in the field of child protection, using forum theatre to explore the issues and a performance of an interactive forum theatre play.

The success of the project meant that the company was commissioned to make the film to give the project a shelf-life and it is still being used today, both here in the UK at a universities in Australia. The film was designed with a menu, so that trainers could stop the action at certain point, to enable audiences to discuss the problems depicted in the drama. THE LOST CHILD went on to win a raft of awards, including The National Training Awards.

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The Lost Child

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KEEPING MILLY HAPPY is a short film that looks at how elderly patients can so easily deteriorate if they do not receive appropriate care for osteoarthritis. This film was commissioned by Devon County Council and is still in use in various hospitals and care centres around the UK.

Another successful film produced by Buzzword was NICE PEOPLE. This was commissioned as a training resource for the Devon and Cornwall police, and to raise awareness in the county on rural racism. email_np_adThe film was used as the basis of a series of training workshops run by Lyn Ferrand and her company, designed specifically for police officers. The film was part of this training programme.

Lyn Ferrand, the writer and director of all these innovative projects has now retired. Thank you to all the talented and wonderful actors, cinematographers, crew and everyone else involved in the making of these films and the original projects.

More photos:

Lyn is now a carer for her partner and writes novels. These can be accessed online at:

www.feedaread.com

Amazon.co.uk

BOOKS;

RURAL CUT: This book explores how financial greed and the repercussions of indiscriminate development can ruin lives and change rural places for ever.
JONTY”S WIN: Can money alone mend the loneliness, austerity, damaged relationships and homelessness that the protagonist Jonty Greer unwittingly uncovers? Will Jonty’s money make him a better person? Or will he and the people it attracts, remain the same?
Jonty’s Win is a sequel to Lyn Ferrand’s first novel Pretending.
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JONTY'S WIN 

17190949_1265474693500898_8349464218403510824_nPRETENDING

The story of six actors and a director convinced that theatre will change the world. Events change everyone, though strangely, pretending prevails…

THE MAN WHO THOUGHT HE WAS HAPPY

Jake Adams discovers that family scripts run parallel, each new generation caught up in an involuntary mimicking of past lives and times and in his obsessive compulsion to find Emma, he is forced to see that what really matters is how, in the moment, we connect.

THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD

A few years ago, when I was the creative director of Buzzword Films and Turning Point Theatre Company, we were approached by Lancashire Social Services to create a training programme for agencies working in the field of child protection.

tlc_front_page2After many productive visits to Lancashire to discuss the project, I came up with a programme to include a new play as the focus of a training day. The company would use Forum Theatre, discussion and workshop techniques to bond the people working in the different agencies. Although there was cooperation between them, there was little collaboration, so the aim of the training programme was to touch hearts, as well as minds to draw people together and encourage collaborative thinking when addressing the many and various difficult situations these professionals had to deal with on a daily basis. It was hoped that through better collaboration, there would be fewer child deaths in the area.

The Turning Point actors rehearsed my new play for three weeks, before taking it to a venue in Lancashire as part of a three-day training programme for approximately 30 people a day, from many different agencies that included Social Services, Police, Health and Social Care, Education and Child Protection.

The company presented a tight format, starting with trust exercises and theatre games, giving the group a chance to relax and have fun; always a good way to get people to connect. After a coffee break, the actors presented a performance of The Lost Child. My play was based on research material given to me by the commissioning agency. The story focused on the views of a child watching her parents cope with their mental illness and its aftermath.

Following the performance, the group broke for lunch and a chance to informally discuss what they had gleaned from the play.

sc0008872d2The afternoon session started with Forum Theatre, a method of enabling an audience to ‘rehearse for reality’ by watching scenes from the play again and looking at how the situations the protagonist found herself in, might be changed. The audience, who all had some professional connection to the subject matter of the play, were invited to change places with the protagonist at any moment during the replay of the scene, by shouting STOP, take her place and show how they would manage the situation depicted. Following each intervention, we discussed the new solution offered and whether or not it had worked, was truthful and possible. 

The training programme was a huge success and when it was over, I was commissioned to give the play a shelf-life by making it into a film. I wrote a screenplay and working with the same actors and a very talented cinematographer/editor,  we made a 28 minute drama DVD film that could be stopped at any point, using a special menu, so that trainers could discuss with their students specific issues, as they came up in the scenes.

The Lost Child won a whole raft of awards, including The National Training Award. It was described as: An example of exceptionally effective learning.

It was:

  • Highly Commended at The Community Care Awards
  • Highly Commended at the Cumbria and Lancashire SHA Achievement Awards
  • Winner of The National Training Awards North West
  • Winner of The Skills for Care Training Accolade and was awarded 4 stars in Community Care Magazine.

The Lost Child is currently being used nationally and internationally (University of Southern Australia) and has proved to be a very useful and innovative training resource. Here is what just one of our clients said about the film:

“North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust is using the DVD – “The Lost Child” as a component of its mandatory two-day Safeguarding Children Training which is provided to all clinicians and practitioners working within NEPFT. The DVD is used as an interactive exercise within which professionals explore the impact of parental mental illness on the child and the knowledge of professionals working in different domains and agencies.
The response to the DVD – (which has been used as part of the mandatory training programme for over three years with more than 750 professionals) – has always been excellent. It enables professionals to consider the impact of mental illness on relationships, the position of the child and frequent absence of the child’s voice in adult mental health services. Following use of the DVD as an interactive exercise, professionals link the lessons learned into policy and procedure – for example the use of genograms in all assessments. The DVD is thus an essential component in translating theory regarding the impact of parental mental illness on children and families into practice.” 
Consultant, Safeguarding Children & Adults
North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust

FURTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION –

An interactive forum theatre play and a DVD film drama were commissioned from Lyn Ferrand, Turning Point Theatre and Buzzword Films to give children of mentally ill parents in Lancashire a better level of protection.

The project was part of a training programme developed jointly by Lancashire County Council’s Social Services Directorate, Lancashire Child Protection Committee and Buzzword Interactive Films.

The programme was written and facilitated by award-winning writer and director Lyn Ferrand. The project won the National Training Award – Northwest and The Skills in Social Care Accolade for the most innovative multi-disciplinary training. It was also short-listed for the Community Care Awards.

“Due to the difficulty in persuading staff who normally refer vertically within their organisations to start working laterally, we needed a different training solution, with a large emphasis on hearts instead of minds.” Lyn Gornall Lancashire County Council Training Co-ordinator, Mental Health

I think the issues around mental health and the impact on family members, but particularly the daughter in this case were really well explored. The quality of the story line was brought to life by the excellent acting and production. It is a real quality product and will be a very effective training tool” Director, Social Services.

HOW THE DVD WORKED –

Why is this an example of exceptionally effective learning?

Joint working in adult mental health and childcare across agencies is a complex, challenging and demanding area of work. The ways in which agencies meet the needs of both the child and the parent where there is parental mental illness inevitably impacts on all those involved.

Through the eyes of a child, the film tells the story of a family where there is parental mental illness. It gives the audience a unique opportunity to explore for themselves how those experiences can be affected by the ways in which they are involved or choose to intervene and explores the possible consequences and alternatives for the family, the professionals and others.

The film has a user-friendly menu. Trainers can stop scenes and ask participants to discuss what is happening. The DVD is not prescriptive. It does not give answers. Rather it encourages creative thinking and debate, challenging staff both at an emotional and an intellectual level and offering a way to explore solutions and improved practice.

OUTCOMES IN LANCASHIRE.

The level of co-operation was unprecedented across the county. Prior to this training there had been 2 child deaths due to non co-operation and poor communication. Since the use of this training there have been none. Improved awareness of the need for good communication, co-operation and ‘joined up working’ to protocols is the central contributory factor. By being able to challenge the professionals on neutral ground I felt that I made a difference for the first time today. Service user. Preston Area.

The evidence provided showed that

  1. a) Children are safer
  2. b) Services are more joined up in their thinking about families. Incorporating the principles of this training will benefit hundreds of children within families throughout Lancashire.

It certainly emphasises that there are critical times in an interview when the professional needs to reflect on strategies being used… it goes without saying that all of the sequences are relevant to the issues related to mental health, alcohol, domestic violence and the frustration clients can encounter with agencies in particular their lack of understanding of mental health. Manager Education Support Team. 

If you are interested to know more, please contact Lyn Ferrand at lyn.ferrand@zen.co.uk