EastEnders Working With Winston’s Wish on Bailey Baker Storyline

EastEnders has been working closely with Winston’s Wish, a specialist childhood bereavement charity, on an ongoing storyline featuring Bailey Baker.

Over the past few months, viewers have seen nine year old Bailey, played by Kara-Leah Fernandes, adopting a young carer role and looking after her mother, Dinah. With a history of mental health problems and recent debilitating medical problems, it soon became clear that Dinah was struggling to cope, which led to her taking her own life. Bailey is now in the care of her father Mitch, and her extended family, the Taylors.

Over the coming weeks, Bailey’s reaction and grief will be at the centre of the ongoing storyline as her father and the Taylors all rally around to offer their support.

Fergus Crow, CEO of Winston’s Wish said: “In the UK, on average, someone takes their own life every 90 minutes.  Many of these may be the parents and siblings of children who are left overwhelmed and bewildered by what has happened. EastEnders is doing essential work in bringing this issue into the public eye.  Thousands of children and young people in the UK are suffering at any one time, after losing someone close to them through suicide.  It’s something we’re very worried about – and while public awareness of suicide is increasingly higher, awareness of the consequences for the children bereaved by suicide is not.  My hope is that the storyline will not only raise awareness of the devastating effect suicide can have on children but, most importantly, signpost adults who may be supporting a bereaved child to the support and advice available through Winston’s Wish.”

Kate Oates (Head of Continuing Drama) commented on the storyline: “Over the past few weeks, and into this summer, EastEnders has been featuring a range of different stories about mental health. Through characters like Sean, Jean and Bex, we’ve sought to examine the spectrum of different challenges that so many people face, either openly or in secret, every day. With Dinah and Bailey’s story, we have been able to examine what happens when poor physical health takes its toll on mental health but we have also been able to explore the topic of young carers and what happens when a child loses a parent. In Bailey’s case she has been her mother’s primary carer for the majority of her life and now not only has to deal with losing her mum but also to understand that Dinah made the decision to end her own life. This storyline will hopefully continue to raise awareness of an incredibly important issue.”

Notes to Editors

If you are supporting a child who has been bereaved by suicide, Winston’s Wish provides individual guidance and information on how to talk to children about this type of death, as well as offering on-going support for grieving families and professionals supporting a grieving child.

Winston’s Wish Freephone National Helpline: 08088 020 021 / winstonswish.org

For further information, please contact the EastEnders Press Office on: 020 8228 8632 or Winston’s Wish Press Office on: 07894 204199