Every year in Britain an estimated 3000 plus children are placed into the care system. Their mothers – who have often suffered domestic violence, sexual abuse or neglect themselves – are left behind. Vilified, isolated and ignored, they form an invisible group living on the edge of society.
This film gives them a voice for the first time, combining extraordinary documentary footage with poetry written by Simon Armitage. Set in Hull, as the city celebrates European Capital of Culture status, the film uses poetry to offer an arresting and an emotionally charged portrait of the women’s lives.
The women featured are all participants of a ground-breaking new scheme called Pause, which aims to break the cycle of repeat care removals. Over the course of 18-months, the women work one on one with a dedicated Pause practitioner who helps them to build a different future.
The women’s stories provide a rich palette from which poet Simon Armitage can draw. Professor of Poetry at Oxford University and one of the nation’s most decorated poets, he was once a probation officer for ten years, an experience that has helped him to understand the lives of those who are denied a voice. Simon wrote the poems by listening to the audio of the interviews, which helped him to write to the lexicon of each woman.
A Century Films Production for BBC Four
1 x 60 minutesPoetrySimon ArmitageComposer Nainita DesaiExecutive ProducerLiesel EvansProducerAnna DickesonEditor Emily WestDirectorSam Benstead
"★★★★ Poet Simon Armitage gives a voice to the women whose children are in care in this moving documentary..."The Mail On Sunday