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Denise Henshall was a teenage expectant mother who appeared in the 2014 Christmas Special, alongside Avril Fox, another young mother.


The first we see of Denise is in the back room of the clinic with Chummy, her mother and Avril. She and Avril are young teenage girls who are heavily pregnant and set to go away to a mother and baby home. There, they will give birth and nurse their babies until they are about 6 weeks old, and then the babies will be taken to be adopted. Denise is very weepy at the check in, and her mother harshly chastises her for not remembering her handkerchief, saying that since Denise thinks she mature enough to have sex and get pregnant, you would think she would remember a handkerchief.

Avril Fox, another young mother, is very cheerful and at ease with the idea of birthing her child and giving it up for adoption. She says that she doesn't want to "see it or touch it". Denise's mother is scornful of her carefree attitude but Denise is fascinated and the two become friends.

Upon arrival to the Home, the two notice quickly that the home is poorly and filthy, and Avril notices the matron stinks of alcohol. Soon, Denise becomes ill, and it is later revealed to be chicken pox. She is placed in isolation. After the matron is outted as drunk and cruel and then flees the Home, Chummy and Patsy clean the Home with Avril's assistance. The home becomes warm and cheery after.

After Avril gives birth to a baby girl, Denise goes into labour. In the hallway, she whimpers for her mother, despite their strained relationship. It is this scene that makes Avril realize that children need their mothers, and brings her to bond with her own baby. Denise gives birth to a baby boy. When her mother comes to the Mother and Baby Home, she falls in love with her grandson, and changes her mind of whether the baby should be adopted. She asks her daughter if the chicken pox have harmed the baby (as Denise is still riddled with pox marks), and Denise replies that he's alright.

Denise's mother does not say that she should take the baby home, but leaves the choice to her daughter, saying that she can bring the baby home if she wants to, to be raised by her. Denise declines, and makes a very mature decision to let her son go up for adoption when the time came. She says that if she decided to take him home, she would "be doing what I want most now. Not what's best. Not for him or for me."

Her mother remarks that this baby will always be her first grandchild, and Denise's first child, no matter the others that come. Voice shaking, her mother remarks that she will think of him every Christmas.