The beautifully-made documentary, The Nurture Room, tells the story of three children from Glasgow with disruptive behaviors.
Jamie, Jason and Jordyn were trouble-makers in the eyes of many; they threw tantrums, they never played with other kids and sometimes they became aggressive and violent. When teachers and educators gave up hope on these kids, The Nurture Room, a special learning program that focuses on one-on-one teaching and nurturing, was their last chance to integrate and the last grip they have to their childhood.
These children were not born naughty; they had family issues and had been dealing with alcoholic mothers and divorced parents at a very, very young age. Their aggressive appearance or shyness masked their insecurity and disbelief that they deserved to be loved. They shut themselves out and pushed away anyone who intended to help. But only after eight months of being in The Nurture Room, where they were taught personally and built a relationship with others, they started to trust again and embraced life. They started to smile and run around at playgrounds; they were singing in a class choir and won prizes; they no longer muttered about death, drunkenness or dread. They reclaimed their childhood and felt protected, the way that each child deserves to.
This heart-warming documentary was directed by Matt Pinder and produced by Brian Woods. They confessed at the preview at the Royal Society of Arts on Wednesday, that it was anything but easy to raise awareness of this issue.
“We have approached more than 100 schools nationwide and only two were brave enough to admit that this is a problem and allow our filming,” Woods said. “We hope that this documentary does not only show the problem, but also the transformation The Nuture Room brought to these kids.”
Unfortunately, most children in the same situation would have been given up by their teachers and parents. They would go on living an isolated life filled with troubles. Although many still doubt the outcome of the project, Woods explained that the idea of The Nuture Room was, in fact, a more cost-effective way to tackle the problem.
“It costs roughly £600 a month to put a child in The Nuture Room; so it costs about £6000 for the whole process. However, research has shown that £18,000 would be spent on kids who were given up and went on causing troubles, in terms of social welfare and police.”
Irene Grant, Assistant Director of the Nurture Group Network, hoped that this documentary can influence government policy and provide more staff and training for this real issue.
The Nuture Room is part of the True Stories Series, a More 4′s showcase for the best international feature documentary. It will be broadcast on Tuesday 18 Jan, 10pm on Channel 4.