Eaton Bray teen wins BAFTA as his CBBC story encourages youngsters to speak out about mental health

Josh and director Charlotte Ingham
Josh and director Charlotte Ingham

A Cedars Upper School pupil has been awarded a BAFTA for his dedicated work with CBBC to raise awareness about mental health.

Josh Gale, 15, of Eaton Bray, took part in filming for the CBBC television programme ‘Inside My Head: A Newsround Special’, and was awarded for telling the story of his battle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

The caring teenager wanted to encourage other youngsters to seek help if they are experiencing problems, after his own health issues left him anxious about telling anyone.

Josh said: “I was about 11 years old when I started becoming worried about all sorts of different, bad, horrific things happening.

“For the first few months it wasn’t that bad, I just had to repeat things to reassure myself but over the next year it became worse; I had to touch things, and wash my hands.

“I eventually told my Dad. When I got help I felt tons better, as someone didn’t tell me it wasn’t the case or that I was making it up.”

Josh was referred to CHUMS, a Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service and had his OCD under control by summer 2016. He was then asked by the BBC if he would like to help them.

Work started in January, and Josh was filmed in Salford, at Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club, of which is he is a member, and whilst giving a talk in a London school.

Josh said: “We’ve been told that young viewers have watched the programme and said ‘that’s how I feel’. If you’re experiencing problems, tell someone you trust.”

Josh, his father, Peter, and brother, Sam, would like to thank CHUMS, CBBC, and “extended family” - Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club - for all their support.