‘Brilliant’ video for tragic schoolgirl

Joseph Roberts, front right, in a still from the video
Joseph Roberts, front right, in a still from the video

The brother and friends of a Wigan schoolgirl hope a hard-hitting video will help to raise awareness of the condition that killed her.

Jemma-Louise Roberts, from Whelley, was just 13 when she died on March 1, 2014 after developing blood infection sepsis.

Her mother Diane Roberts has worked hard to raise awareness of sepsis ever since.

She encouraged her 15-year-old son Joseph and Jemma-Louise’s friends to take part in the Royal Society Of Public Health’s Young Health Champions programme earlier this year, run with Wigan Council.

The youngsters created a video highlighting sepsis, toxic shock syndrome and meningitis in honour of Jemma-Louise.

On Wednesday they travelled to London to launch the video at the Royal Society Of Public Health’s Young Health Movement Conference.

Jemma-Louise Roberts

Jemma-Louise Roberts

Mrs Roberts said: “Joseph very bravely got up in front of everybody and spoke a bit about the video and why they made it.

“They played the video and it got a very positive response.”

Joseph, who attends Standish High School, talks about his sister on the video. Some of her best friends also speak about Jemma-Louise.

Mrs Roberts said: “I think it’s brilliant. I’m so proud, especially of Joseph.”

I hope it’s hard-hitting enough for people to remember it so it gets awareness out there

Diane Roberts

The video has now been shared online by UK Sepsis Trust and Wigan Council.

Mrs Roberts said she hopes it will go viral so as many people as possible see it.

“I hope it’s hard-hitting enough for people to remember it so it gets awareness out there,” she said.

Coun Jim Moodie, lead member for leisure and public health at Wigan Council, said: “We are really proud of our young health champions who have shown great courage in talking openly about a topic which has affected them personally.

“Jemma’s family should also take much credit for the tireless work they have done in raising awareness of sepsis which so cruelly took her life so young.”

Young health champions support their peers in leading healthy lifestyles. Workshops to train more young health champions in Wigan start on Monday. To book, call Charlie Bracher on 01942 487957.

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