Pulled Both Ways – Project Launched To Highlight The Impact Of Divorce On Children

An award-winning film project focusing on themes of divorce has been renewed for its third instalment and is set to be presented by charity Soft Touch Arts, Glynis Wright, and Nelsons.

Set to premiere at De Montfort University on 7 June 2023, Pulled Both Ways was initially thought up by Glynis Wright in 2016, working in partnership with Soft Touch Arts. The premiere will show four short films and promotional campaign materials which aim to explore the emotional impact of divorce from a parental perspective, complementing the six existing films made in 2016 and 2017.

Pulled Both WaysSponsored by ourselves, Pukka and De Montfort University and with a grant from the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, the short films have been created by young people at Beauchamp City Sixth Form supported by Badshoes Film and the campaign designs have been created by young people at Leicester College.

The films share stories from parents, played by actors, on their experience of separation and how the individuals may have handled it differently, or showing how it was handled well with the wellbeing of their children in mind.

Christina Wigmore, Business Development Manager at Soft Touch Arts said:

“When you see the stark statistics around divorce and the negative impact on children, it is shocking. Some of the young people we work with will have lived experience of this. Parents can become caught up in their own emotions without considering children who end up being ‘pulled both ways’.

“We have experience of running issue-based projects and helping young people open up about their experiences, and with Glynis’ and Nelsons’ expertise in family law, we decided to put our skills to use for a collaboration.

“Projects using media such as this are empowering for young people who wouldn’t usually have a voice or know how to use it in a safe way. It is also an opportunity for young people to learn new skills and make a difference in their community.”

Glynis Wright, of Glynis Wright Growth Consultancy and who was previously a Partner in our Family Law team, originally engaged with the arts charity a number of years ago when she ran her own specialist family law firm, with the aim of discussing divorce and mediation more widely.

The first production in 2016 focused on encouraging parents to consider mediation, which often has better outcomes for children, and the second series in 2017 looked at the emotional impact on children whose parents are divorcing.

Glynis said:

“Pulled Both Ways is a project that I’m incredibly passionate about and I’m thrilled that through this collaboration with multiple partners and sponsors we’ve been able to create a new series of films focusing on the parental perspective of divorce. I spent years as a family solicitor and during that time I saw firsthand how children can so easily get caught in the middle of the divorce process. By creating films like these, it gives us the opportunity to share real-life experiences so that family professionals and parents can try to ensure the best outcome for their children if they are separating.

“I’m really excited to see the finished films and campaign graphics to be able to celebrate with the young people and everyone who has been involved in delivering this fantastic project at the premiere.”

As well as helping to promote the positive impact that alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, can have, the films will also be utilised in education settings, with De Montfort University set to use these films as part of their first-year Law curriculum to demonstrate the impact that divorce can have on the individuals involved and the importance of managing communication between parents and children during the process.

Gayle Rowley, Legal Director, Mediator and Solicitor in our Family Law team, said:

“It is always our priority to try to manage these situations in a way that will benefit ongoing relationships between parents and their children and we are seeing mediation becoming more and more popular.

“Working with Soft Touch is not only a way for us to collaborate with a great local charity, but to help spread the message about the impact that divorce can have on children. At Nelsons, we look to empower our clients and give them a voice which aligns with the work that Soft Touch does who apply this approach to the young people it works with.”

Pukka, which has been based in Leicester since the 60s, prides itself on community involvement and this sponsorship is another way for the popular pie brand to give back to the youth of the city and encourage people to share their stories.

Isaac Fisher, Managing Director of Pukka, said:

“Here at Pukka, people, families and communities always have been and always will be at the heart of all we do. We’re proud and privileged to be involved in The Pulled Both Ways project, which gives support to families going through difficult times, enabling them to tell their stories and let their voices be heard.”

The project is also supported by Leicester Castle Business School at DMU and Arts Council England.

Audience members of the premiere screening will include family, friends, sponsors, as well as guests from the participating schools and local businesses.

For more information on Soft Touch Arts, and Pulled Both Ways, please visit:

Soft Touch Arts: Creating Opportunity: Changing Lives (soft-touch.org.uk)

To attend the premiere, please RSVP to:

chris@soft-touch.org.uk

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