Norfolk girl stars in BAFTA winner's film to say ‘thank you’ to key workers

Denver Bardell, from Dereham, stars in the short film commissioned by Gilead Sciences

Denver Bardell, from Dereham, stars in the short film. - Credit: Gilead Sciences

A 10-year-old Norfolk girl plays the lead role in a short film thanking key workers for their efforts during the pandemic.

The video stars Denver Bardell, from Dereham, and was commissioned by pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences to mark Thank You Day on Sunday July 4 – a day when people across the country express their gratitude for everyone who helped them get through the last year.

Miss Bardell was chosen from a shortlist of children across the country who made outstanding contributions to their communities in 2020. 

With the support of her family, she lifted the spirits by making care packages for the staff and residents of a nearby care home and ‘sunshine bags’ to thank local nurses and doctors.

Miss Bardell’s mother Karen also set up a ‘kindness club’ – a group for volunteers who came together to spread kindness.

Denver Bardell in the Gilead Sciences 'Thank You Day' video

The film captures the pandemic through Miss Bardell’s eyes. - Credit: Gilead Sciences

The film captures the pandemic through Miss Bardell’s eyes and is overlaid with her reading a poem about “the grown-ups who worked hard to provide… while most of us were locked inside.”


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She compares them to a rainbow, who “brightened up our lockdown skies.” 

“When looking for the right child, we were looking for someone who had an innocence but also a maturity,” said director Nick Holt, who has previously won a BAFTA for 2011 documentary Between Life and Death.

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“When we met Denver, it was clear that she was both an adult and a child. 

Denver Bardell in Gilead Sciences' 'Thank You Day' video

“When we met Denver, it was clear that she was both an adult and a child," said director Nick Holt. - Credit: Gilead Sciences

“She had a strong awareness of what the pandemic meant and what had been taken away from her. And she was really happy to share that with us.”

Remembering lockdown, Miss Bardell said: “We created a jar of all the things we couldn’t do. When lockdown was over, mummy said we could do one of those things each week.”

She also reflected on the filming experience: “It was cool - they came to film me on my birthday and at my school. My favourite bit was when we filmed me out walking my dog.

Denver Bardell in Gilead Sciences' Thank You Day video

Denver Bardell reflected on the filming experience: “It was cool - they came to film me on my birthday and my school." - Credit: Gilead Sciences

“On Thank You Day, I am most grateful for all the people who risked their lives in hospitals when everyone else was at home. And postmen and women, because they still had to deliver letters when we were at home.”

To find out more about Thank You Day, visit: https://thankyouday.org.uk 

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