M6toll provide funding for short film starring former Hollyoaks star Rachel Shenton

Staff from Midland Expressway Ltd (operators of the M6toll) recently attended a private screening of The Silent Child, a short film starring former Hollyoaks Star Rachel Shenton at Hanley's Mitchell Arts Centre after providing £500 towards the film’s production costs. 

Midland Expressway Limited’s (MEL) donation was a great boost to the funding needed to allow production of the film to go ahead. The film is set in rural England and follows the story of a profoundly deaf child, Libby and her middle-class family; consisting of 2 elder siblings, both high achievers. The family are uneducated about their daughter’s deafness and are in search of a way to 'normalise' her. It's not until they employ the help of a deaf-specialised social worker that it becomes apparent that it's not Libby's disability that is limiting her. 

The Character of Libby is played by 6 year old Maisie Sly who was born profoundly deaf, Maisie was among the audience of the screening which was also attended by supporters of dDeaflinks and other local sponsors.

Rachel from Stoke on Trent and patron for Shelton-based dDeaflinks was keen to get the film of the ground having experienced first-hand the huge effects deafness has on a family when her Father lost his hearing very suddenly when she was 12 years old, meaning he spent the last two years of his life being unable to hear.

Rachel said, “The donation from M6toll was a huge help towards our film - it enabled us to reach our target and ensured us that we were able to make the film at the highest possible quality. The Silent Child has such an important message and M6toll Road has been so supportive in our quest to make our message heard!”

Rachel enlisted the help of fiancé and actor Chris Overton to direct the film who contacted the M6toll for assistance with fundraising as the aim is to get the film to international festivals to ensure The Silent Child and its message reaches as many people as possible.

Jo Brett, MEL Social Committee Member said: “It was a real pleasure to be invited along to the screening of The Silent Child and meet the cast, especially little Maisie who is a real star! I was overwhelmed by the film which really hit home the difficulties that face someone who is deaf due to a lack of understanding. I really hope the film gets the recognition it deserves and makes people more deaf aware.” 

More information about The Silent Child can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-silent-child-short-film#/

MEL’s donation forms part of a wider initiative to support local schools and community projects. MEL's Social Committee work closely with members of staff to choose those community projects close to their hearts which will benefit from a donation from the Drive for Charity fund.

MEL's Social Committee is always on the lookout for local charities and community projects to support. To register your charity or community project with MEL for consideration to receive fundraising or practical (volunteering) support now or in the future visit www.m6toll.co.uk for further information or email d4c@m6toll.co.uk


IMAGE (Left to right): Sheena Hawkins (MEL Social Committee member), Rachel Shenton, Maisie Sly and Chris Overton