Josh’s Christmas walk 2013

JOSH tree




Josh’s good friends (and ours now too) Hollie Gale and Nat Davis have again done a wonderful thing and organised this years Christmas walk for Josh to, as they say  on their FACEBOOK PAGE, ’embrace the festive spirit, coldness, Josh and each other”.

Well I for one am looking forward to a lot of embracing as it looks like this years wander to the pub is going to be bigger than ever.

The walk is on Saturday 21st December and starts at Joshs tree on Westley Farm at 2 o’clock.

Please go to the FACEBOOK PAGE  if you are coming.    And I believe there’s an opportunity to celebrate Granty’s birthday in the evening – Happy birthday Mr Grant.


Now for some more pics of years gone by





JOSH EDMONDS MEMORIAL SCHEME – Year Two gets off to a cracking start

Lewis Murphy – last years successful candidate


Ministry of Sound placement

scheme launched 

Josh’s mum Jane at the launch



Year Two of the Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme is officially on the road and applications for a month’s internship at the Ministry of Sound are now open.    Anyone aged 18 – 25 working or studying in the county of Gloucestershire is invited to apply for the opportunity to work as an intern at one of the UK’s leading music brands.      The scheme is run jointly by Cirencester College and the ‘Ministry’ in memory of Josh who studied at the college and then went on to work at MoS, initially as an intern himself.     By the time he left he had become one of the clubs most prolific video producers, making over 200 clips for the brand.    The placement is designed to help a young person from Gloucestershire get a similar foothold in the music industry, and to explore the opportunities that Josh made for himself.


At the launch this week, Josh’s mum, Jane introduced Lewis Murphy, the first successful candidate who gave a lively account of his experiences at the Ministry of Sound last July.   Lewis paid tribute to the two Josh’s in his life.  The first Josh is his own friend from schooldays, and like our Josh a passionate fan of drum n bass.   Tragically Lewis’ friend Josh also died at an early age so its was with a ‘double edged’ sadness that Lewis embraced his opportunity to make the  most of his time at MoS.  13544499(400) But he has truly given it his all, he made a BIG impression at the club, and we thank him for bringing such a wonderful energy to his role as ‘first candidate’.   “The people I met and the experiences I had are irreplaceable” he told us  “I can now look back at those times and reflect on how much of a career springboard it was by looking at where I am at now.” Lewis, a University of Gloucestershire student until earlier this year, now works for leading drum and bass label, Emcee Recordings.    Lewis told us he will always remember the ‘two Josh’s’ and the strange coincidences that led him to “actually getting paid” for work he had until recently only dreamed of.

The audience at the launch also heard from Cirencester College Principal and Charlie Gray one of Josh’s best friends from school and London.  Charlie told how he often worked with Josh on TV shoots and was ‘amazed at his knowledge and input’ he had on set.  “In a short space of time he became a huge asset to MO and  a great example of someone who started at the bottom and worked their way up. The ‘Josh Edmonds Scheme’ is a great chance for someone to have an opportunity similar to the one that he made use of so well.’

13544491(600) Following in Josh’s footsteps – on the radio!

Earlier in the day Jane had popped into the radio studios at BBC Gloucestershire to help promote the scheme on the Chris Baxter show.  Following in Josh’s footsteps is what its all about, said Jane as she was joined by Lewis on the telephone.


Click on the links below to listen again to the broadcast.   Some excellent stuff here, Jane acknowledges the ease which young people can talk about death and Lewis reveals those strange coincidences.

This is Part One

and Part Two


If you are between 18 and 25 years old, live or study in Gloucestershire,  you can download the application form here.     Along with personal contact details you will need to write a short statement about why you’d like to work at the Ministry of Sound and send us an online link to a piece of your own work.    This can be music or video production.  Completed forms must be returned by 28th February 2014 to   Shortlisted candidates will be asked to come for interview in March and the successful applicant will start work at MoS in July.



Lewis encourages some applicants to the scheme


While working at “The Ministry” Lewis wrote a daily blog which you can read here Lewis Murphy – Candidate One.

Finally if you want to know the sort of thing Josh made at MoS check this out


THE WAITING ROOM – first public screening


A short version of Jane’s film THE WAITING ROOM was the centre piece of the 8th Annual Conference on Dementia and End of Life organised by The National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition and held in London on 4th December 2013.    The film is about the time Jane’s Dad spent on a psychiatric ward and was programmed to illustrate the lived experience of people living with dementia – it seems that people were truly shocked by what they saw and we have been humbled (and pleased) by the response to the film.


We have been making The Waiting Room for over five years, long before Josh died.  Filming started when Jane’s Dad, (Josh’s Grandpa) Gerry went into hospital in 2008. Then aged 92, he had early stage vascular dementia and after her Mum Pat had a stroke and could therefore no longer look after him at home, efforts were made to find a suitable place for him in a local residential home but none were available. So Gerry was admitted to the Ailsa Psychiatric Hospital near Ayr, their home town in Scotland.

This was a far from ideal solution to the problems faced by the family, and with the thought that surely things would improve for both Gerry and Pat, we began to film with them both. As it turned out Jane spent more and more time trying to deal with a system (its called the NHS!) than actually being with her parents as they moved into the final chapters of their lives.   She now sees these as lost years rather than last years.   But  as the dementia progressed to its inevitable end stage,  Jane’s efforts to find a more ‘person friendly’ care package, a more stimulating environment,  a more comforting and less intimidating final ‘home’ for her dad,  were mostly in vain. For reasons we believe were the result as much as the lack of care as of the progress of the disease, Gerry’s well being went into steady decline and he never left the hospital.   He died earlier this year and you can see our farewell tribute to him here – FAREWELL GERRY.

FAREWELL GERRY was culled from the many hours of footage we have of Gerry and is a very different film to THE WAITING ROOM which had its first public screening at the Conference for the NCPC/Dying Matters Coalition.    Shown at the start of proceedings, the film quickly became a talking point for the remainder of the day as delegates recognised it as a cautionary tale for a health service faced with an ever increasing ageing population many of who will die with dementia.   You can watch it here.

This version of THE WAITING ROOM is 81/2 minutes long.   It should and could be longer – it should and could be made available as a educational or training resource for all in the caring professions.    But without adequate funding we are not currently in a position to develop the project further.   So …  if you or you know anyone who can help us achieve this goal, please do contact us.

Here’s what people have been saying about THE WAITING ROOM

“amazing man, loved by his family failed by the system “ – Beth Britton @bethyb1886 (Leading Dementia campaigner and blogger)

“harrowing to see footage of a highly intelligent inventor shut in an empty room without stimulation.   Jane has portrayed a hospital specialist dementia unit but it seems as if there’s no insight into the person they cared for”   Simon Chapman @SimonSimply (Director of Public Engagement,  National Council of Palliative Care)

“very moved by Jane Harris’ film about her Dad.   Reminds us to look for the person, not the disease”  Emma Hodges @StGilesDCEO (Deputy Chief Executive of St Giles Hospice

“a brilliant film”  – Professor Alastair Burns (National Clinical Director for Dementia – Dept. of Health)

“a powerful film – No person with dementia should spend four years in hospital” – Sharon Blackburn (Communication Director, Dementia Action Alliance)


Unfortunately we didn’t have the following information at the screening of THE WAITING ROOM at the conference.    We have only just had a reply from the NHS trust for Ayrshire and Arran as to the total cost of Gerry’s care while he was in hospital.     And it is staggering – the cost per day for a patient in an Elderly Mental Health Bed is £408.      So the total costs for the four years that Gerry was in hospital amounts to close on £581,000.   But this is a minimum estimate and does not include the extras for two hip replacements and their aftercare, antipsychotic drugs, and the one to one observation that Gerry required to stop him getting out of his chair.      Compare that with the costs for keeping Jimmy’s mother Emily (of a similar age and with a similar condition – advanced alzheimers dementia) in a private residential home  – this is £650 per week or a possible £135,000 over four years – less than one quarter of the cost of Gerry’s care.     This raises so many questions we can’t go into here but if you’ve watched the film you will know that  this is money not well spent.


Farewell Gerry










On Tuesday last Jane and I went into LBC radio studios to talk about the Compassionate Friends, Say Their Name at Christmas campaign.       We joined  Susan Hughes (TCF Press Officer and herself a bereaved parent) on the show hosted by Julia Hartley-Brewer.      You can listen to the complete recording here.


For those visiting this page from beyond the UK shores, perhaps we should explain the source of amusement in this photo.  Producers of live radio are always nervous that their guests will ‘keep it clean” and LBC has these words of advice for its guests.   So what is it with the word ‘hunt’?- well, a couple of years back ago Jeremy Hunt who was then the Culture Secretary  was been interviewed by the very well known presenter of the BBC’s morning news show on Radio 4 (a Mr James Naughtie) and he got the minister’s name wrong calling him Mr C**t not Mr H**t.
Listen too to Jane’s BBC Radio Gloucestershire interview about Josh’s Memorial scheme


Come to the launch of Year Two of the Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme

at The Spotlight,  Cirencester College

Monday 9th December 6.30 pm

Honouring the memory of our Josh

Josh (right) at work in the studio at MoS

Josh was a student at Cirencester College and  started his music career on a placement basis with the London based but internationally renowned music venue The Ministry of Sound  and within a couple of years had become a video producer for the club. He worked hard had lots of fun and we were so proud of what he achieved in such a short time.   Before leaving the club he had made over 200 video clips.

Now nearly 3 years on and MoS are honouring Josh’s  memory  for the second time with an annual opportunity for 18 to 25-year-olds in Gloucestershire to win a month’s internship with the company.    Year Two of the scheme will be launched next Monday 8th December at The Spotlight, Cirencester College.    Please join us if you are a student, tutor, head of department, youth leader, musician, or anybody who has an interest in furthering young talent from Gloucestershire – its an opportunity not to be missed.
And of course we already have the experience of an intern to learn from.   Last years successful candidate, Lewis Murphy is our guest speaker at the launch at Cirencester College.  Lewis will describe to the audience  what being the first successful candidate has been like for him.“The people I met and the experiences I had are irreplaceable” he told us  “I can now look back at those times and reflect on how much of a career springboard it was by looking at where I am at now.” Lewis, a University of Gloucestershire student until earlier this year, now works for leading drum and bass label, Emcee Recordings.   Lewis will be showing some of his own work at the launch along with a few clips from the Josh Edmonds archive.
Lewis Murphy (left) at MoS

Young people in Gloucestershire will be invited to apply for this unique and prestigious opportunity in the Video and Music industries.   The successful applicant will gain a real insight into the workings of a major music brand, develop their own talent and get the chance to rub shoulders with the big names in popular music.

“Whatever aspect it is that you’re interested in The Josh Edmonds Memorial Scheme is a brilliant way for young talent to gain some experience of the music media industry.  So to anyone who is thinking of applying, just go for it, you’d be a fool not to.

MoS chief executive Lohan Presencer said: “Josh was a fantastically creative and enthusiastic member of the team at MoS. Hopefully this placement will give someone the same opportunities that Josh had and continue his memory.”

So the launch is on Monday evening 9th December at the Spotlight in Cirencester College. (Soft drinks, nibbles and a bit of alcohol will be served)    Applications for the scheme are open January through February 2014.   The selection process will take place in March 2014 and the successful candidate will be announced in April.

Keep a look out for more details of the scheme and how to apply by visiting the Cirencester College website 

If you think the MInistry of Sound is a buddhist retreat in a big place called London then click here Ministry of Sound

Finally if you want to know the sort of thing Josh made at MoS check this out




This is  The Compassionate Friends Awareness Week and it culminates next Sunday  8th December with a Worldwide Candle Lighting Ceremony.    The week coincides with the launch of a new campaign SAY THEIR NAME AT CHRISTMAS,  the film we made for TCF as its centre piece.

“Christmas is one of the most difficult times for any family that is grieving for the child that was such a vibrant part of their lives. The conflict between pressure to celebrate and the pain of missing someone so special at this time can be unbearable.”  so says Shaun Hewitt, TCF trustee and participant in the film.

146249_WCL13-322x322pixelThe TCF Worldwide Candle lighting ceremony is believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe.    Originating in the United States in 1997, hundreds of formal and informal events will take place at 7 pm local time, as families light candles to honour and remember their children who have died.     We can imagine a virtual 24 hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone.    Jane and I will light a candle for Josh along with new friends at our local meeting of TCF here in the Stroud Valleys.   We could do this at home but there is something about joining with others both locally on a huge global scale that helps us to understand that Josh death can be acknowledged without fear … painful and sad it is not to have him especially at Christmas, but to partake in a collective action puts his death into a broader perspective and we will be in the company of those who are not afraid of showing their feelings or perhaps more importantly, not afraid of hurting ours.   

It is estimated that in the UK alone, over 6000 young people under the age of 20 die each year leaving behind 20,000 to 30,000 newly bereaved parents and siblings. The vast majority of families who have lost a child keep that person with them for the rest of their lives and need to Say Their Name and have their name spoken at all times.  But in our culture talking about a young person who has died is one of the last taboos.  As we have found, despite the best of intentions, many people do not know what to say and a common reaction is to say nothing at all. But that is the worst thing and leaves many bereaved families feeling isolated.  For that reason the whole Christmas thing can be very difficult.   Many bereaved families, for instance, struggle with insensitive Christmas cards, often sent as a matter of habit, but with messages such as “Have a great Christmas” and with no mention of the person who has died or the difficulties the family are experiencing.  Family gatherings, office parties and New Years Eve events all have a tremendous pressure to be festive, and I personally find it very hard to take part.    It’s not that we can’t enjoy ourselves and have a laugh, its because we want to include Josh in as much that we do as possible, but to mention his name seems to threaten a sort come down on the party atmosphere,  an assault even on the general air of celebration.

So to have a special event like the candle lightings is a wee antidote to pressures of Christmas and it would be nice if you could join us – or let us know if you can light a candle for Josh or for any other child you love and is no longer with us.

Thank you


Click here to watch SAY THEIR NAMEbecki FF


Ps Jane, Jimmy, Joe and Rosa will all be in Budapest this Christmas to holler Joshua’s name loud and clear across the Hungarian rooftops.