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Award for documentary about esteemed young farmer who died from sepsis

A powerful film, which revealed how a young mother, Hannah Brown, tragically lost her life to sepsis and previously featured on That’s Farming in this news article, has scooped a major award.

Created by Birmingham-based Ark Media in partnership with the UK Sepsis Trust, the five-minute-long documentary told the story of the 26-year-old farmer who passed away on March 26th, 2021 – just two days after developing sepsis.

Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury and, if not treated immediately, can result in organ failure and death.

Hannah, originally from Newton-le-Willows, North Yorkshire, farmed at Dufton, near Appleby, in Cumbria with her fiancé, Ben Richardson, and their baby daughter, Millie, and was well-known on the region’s stock-showing circuit.

Her sudden death from sepsis left the farming community across the north in shock, prompting family and friends to join forces with the UK Sepsis Trust to launch a campaign – raising awareness of the symptoms and treatment of sepsis.

The campaign led to the making of the award-winning documentary, which interviewed fiancé Ben, Hannah’s parents Martin and Val, spoke to friends at Westmorland County Show and captured how the farming community came together at her funeral in Dufton.

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On Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 – two years to the day after Hannah was admitted to hospital – Ben, Val and Mother-in-law Dorne attended the Charity Film Awards at the ODEON Luxe, in Leicester Square to see her story win a special People’s Choice prize.

Awareness

Ark Media CEO Phil Arkinstall said it has been a “privilege” to pick up the award on behalf of all those who had campaigned in Hannah’s memory.

He said: “It was an emotional night at the awards, not least because the film picked up a People’s Choice award – having been chosen by public vote – which illustrated how Hannah’s story had impacted so many.”

“Firstly, we were approached by the UK Sepsis Trust back in August last year about creating something that captured how well-known and loved Hannah had been within the farming community while also highlighting the shock caused by her sudden loss, and the importance of spreading awareness of sepsis.

“We filmed it over two days last September, visiting places like the local Young Farmers’ Club in Masham, who had been raising funds for UK Sepsis following her death, and found that everyone we talked to simply wanted to help spread the word about sepsis, and to talk fondly about Hannah.”

“We are very proud of the film, and it was a real privilege to collect the award on behalf of everyone who campaigned in her memory.”

Davies comments

Brian Davies, Fundraising Manager at UK Sepsis Trust, who collected the award with Phil, said:

“The UK Sepsis Trust were delighted to win the prestigious People’s Choice Award at the Charity Film Awards for our farming campaign video that looks to explain the dangers and symptoms of sepsis through the story of Hannah Brown.”

“It was fitting to have some of Hannah’s family collect the award and is also fantastic recognition for the excellent job that Ark Media did in shooting and editing the film.”

“The video has allowed the UK Sepsis Trust to seek financial support from NFU Mutual, which will allow for more resources to be developed to help show the agricultural community the dangers of sepsis that they need to consider whilst going about their daily lives.”

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