TV personality Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey star in a new BBC documentary – Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next – which follows Harvey as he starts an independent life at the National Star College in Gloucester, his transition to adulthood and his separation from his mum.
Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next summary
Harvey Price, who lives with a range of complex medical and behavioural conditions including autism, is about to set off on a rite of passage that thousands of young people do every year – going to college.
For the first 19 years of his life, Harvey has been looked after by his mum, Katie Price, but things are about to look very different for the whole Price family.
Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next follows the teenager as he enters this new phase of adulthood. The film documents Harvey’s transition to a more independent life and how he and his Mum cope with the seismic changes in their lives that Harvey’s move to college brings.
This hour-long documentary follows on from the iPlayer record-breaking first film, Harvey and Me, which explored the love Harvey and Katie have for each other and demonstrated that there is far more to Katie than what is reported in the headlines.
As Harvey embarks on his first term at specialist college, National Star, this intimate film gives viewers access to their unique bond and how they both find being apart from one another now that Harvey is away full time.
What Harvey Did Next goes behind the scenes and discovers how staff at the college work with young adults with disabilities to realise their aspirations.
Filmed over several months of learning and living in his own flat, this film puts Harvey at the centre as he navigates college life, forming friendships and settling into the place where he hopes to spend the next three years.
What Harvey Did Next is a film that shines a light on a side of disability that’s not often spoken about; independence, love and letting go, coming of age and reframing relationships as we grow.
Harvey Price at National Star college
Young people, like Harvey, who attend National Star have complex medical needs and disabilities. The charity provides nursing and medical care as well as integrated learning and therapies.
For many, it may be the first time the young person has lived away from home and helps them prepare for adulthood.
Harvey admitted he felt “sad” when he moved to college because he missed Katie but when she does come to visit him, he enjoys “cooking” with her and having “lots of mummy cuddles”.
Learning and therapy are integrated across the college experience so students can put new skills to use in real and practical situations.
Harvey says the college has been “really fantastic” so far and his favourite activities are “swimming and rebound”.
Rebound therapy is a specific type of trampoline therapy used to facilitate movement, promote balance, promote an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation, promote sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance, and improve communication skills.
Harvey has also said that he has learnt independent skills such as “cleaning and hanging out washing” while living in his own flat.
The college provides students with an opportunity for an inclusive social life where they can build friendships. Harvey has made friends with a girl called Lucy who he says “is lovely”.
Residential placements also provide support for families who, up to this point, may have been the young person’s only carer. Currently, National Star has 105 residential students from across the UK.
Harvey is funded to live full-time at college, hopefully for three years. His placement will be reviewed annually by his local authority which then decides on whether to continue to fund his placement.
The annual review will look at a student’s outcomes and what they are achieving during their time at National Star.
Katie Price’s thoughts on Harvey living independently
Many parents will relate to the complex mixture of pride and emotional turmoil that occurs when a child leaves home, and Katie speaks about how these feelings are exacerbated when your child has additional needs.
In the documentary, she reveals her innermost fears of separation, the void her son has left and the ‘Mum guilt’ of potentially enjoying her newfound freedom as Harvey explores a more independent, adult life.
Before the programme release, Katie revealed she is so proud of what Harvey has achieved so far at college and looking forward to seeing what his future holds:
“For me, I’m proud of Harvey in so many ways. People have to remember I got told he wouldn’t walk, talk or do anything really and he does it all. He’s very challenging, as you know – he’s on around 25 tablets a day and that’s just to keep him alive, keep him going and for his behaviour,” said Katie.
“So, for him to go to college without me – because that’s all he knows – I’m really proud about how he has adjusted to me not being there. Although I am there with him in a way, because we do videos and FaceTime for him to show me things and I see him on visits, I’m still not there and I think he’s coped really well.
I think it’ll be interesting watching his next steps. I want to see what he’s like when he comes out, when he goes to lessons, him excelling, what he’s like on the school bus and when he goes out and does stuff.”
She adds: “I think it’ll be interesting to see the next step, because even I’m interested in that. I already know all that you see in the first documentary, but with this one, I’m with the viewers and you guys now, I want to see how he progresses because it’s all new to me too.”
Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next will be on Monday 7th March 2022 on BBC One at 9pm and available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
By Emma Purcell
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