Surprise performance for Barking film school founder airs on TV

PUBLISHED: 15:37 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 28 September 2018

Denise Saunders. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Camelot

Denise Saunders. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Camelot

Chris Ratcliffe/Camelot

The founder of a Barking film school is set to receive national recognition for her work after being selected for a National Lottery Big Surprise.

Some of the people Denise Saunders has helped through her BossCrowns film school. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/CamelotSome of the people Denise Saunders has helped through her BossCrowns film school. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Camelot

Denise Saunders, who set up BossCrowns along with her husband Wayne, was recognised for her efforts in inspiring young people in the area.

She was treated to a gospel music performance by some of the thousands of young people she has supported over the years - and the whole surprise will be aired on ITV at the weekend.

Denise, who was moved to tears by the performance, said: “I just can’t put into words how I felt, it was amazing.

“I saw so many different faces; from a young boy who first came to the Into Film sessions at our film school in his pushchair to one of our previous members back from university, it was just incredible.

“I honestly don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this, I’ve just ‘done me’ but I’m truly grateful for the effort everyone has gone to. I am humbled by their kindness.”

BossCrowns has received funding direct from The National Lottery and used Into Film, a lottery-funded film and education charity, to run creative sessions for young people where they are encouraged to follow their dreams.

Through the use of film and team bonding, mum-of-two Denise aims to give them a brighter future and better prospects in life.

She added: “I cannot thank The National Lottery enough, it has literally been a once in a lifetime experience for me – and something I will never, ever forget.

Denise Saunders and her husband Wayne. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/CamelotDenise Saunders and her husband Wayne. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Camelot

“And it supports what I always tell the young people week in week out at our meetings; hard work, determination, consistency and being a positive person will always be recognised.”

Her video, which is set to air during Saturday’s episode of The X Factor, is one of 17 to be shown during the year to highlight some of the unsung heroes using National Lottery funding to help their community.

The National Lottery has provided £50m in grants to more than 790 projects in Barking and Dagenham.

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