Mum of Morecambe teen Sian Waterhouse speaks out after appearing on Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson BBC show
The mum of a Morecambe teenager who took her own life has said she hopes featuring in a TV documentary about online bullying will help others in the same position.
Ann Waterhouse and Sian’s dad, Ann’s ex-husband Paul, both featured in Odd One Out, a BBC documentary which tackled cyber bullying.
The programme, which aired on Thursday, starred Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson, who has been the victim of online abuse herself, and has also previously tried to take her own life as a result.
Ann and Paul lost their daughter Sian in 2018 at the age of 16.
The documentary looked at Sian’s tragic story, and her parents both bravely spoke on air about their daughter.
The programme showed an emotional Jesy in Sian’s bedroom, which has been left untouched by Ann since Sian passed away.
“We didn’t know at first that Jesy would be involved, and I really didn’t think she would come to the house, but she was lovely,” Ann said.
“At first I wasn’t sure about Jesy going in Sian’s bedroom to film because I find it hard myself.
“I have only been in there twice since Sian died and it’s just how she left it, so I said Jesy could go in but I wouldn’t go in with her.”
The TV crew also filmed at Sian’s memorial bench on the prom.
As well as Sian’s story, the programme featured interviews with a group of young people affected by bullying.
Ann, who is 49 and lives in Morecambe, said it was tough watching the documentary back on TV.
“It went better than I thought it would,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I was on camera when I was talking.
“They sent it to us to see beforehand so it wasn’t a shock, but to watch it all on TV with all the family was still quite emotional.
“The worst bit for me was that I still can’t watch videos of Sian, but luckily her voice wasn’t on the programme.
“The scene where Jesy was in Sian’s bedroom was very emotional because Jesy just broke down.
“I was downstairs at the time so that bit got me when I watched it back.
“You don’t think that a famous pop star is going to go through something like that. When you listen to her, it’s horrendous what she’s been through.
“She said she tried to take an overdose because she wanted to end her life. For someone as famous as that to not be able to speak out is terrible.
“There’s just not enough help out there.”
Ann said she has been overwhelmed by the positive response people have had to the programme.
“I have had some lovely messages off people since it went out,” she said.
“It’s had quite a big impact, a lot of people have watched it.
“People have said that it must have been so hard for me to do, and it was but if I can help just one person then it’s worth it.
“Someone has since said to me that the programme should be shown in schools, and I think that would be a good idea.”
Ann said she hopes the show will have a positive effect on both those who are being bullied and, hopefully, the bullies themselves.
“I want to get the message out there that if you are struggling then you should ask for help and not bottle it up,” she said.
“Most of Sian’s bullying was on Snapchat or over group chat online rather than at school.
“I wanted to get across that before you write a text or write something in a group chat, please think about what you are writing because someone who is already down will take what you say 10 times worse than someone else might.
“The nastiness online is just horrendous.”