What am I asking for?
Please help me raise £3,200 by the end of August for the production of a children’s book, the profits of which will be shared equally between Penarth and Llandough primary schools.
Due to Covid-19, schools across the UK have lost over £50 million in PTA-generated revenue and this figure will continue to rise for some time still. No parties and discos, no PTA socials, no Christmas or summer fayres, no concerts, no Easter bonnet parades and cake sales and that has left schools woefully short of money, while still being hit by increasing bills due to the knock-on effect of the pandemic.
I am asking the same Penarth community who united so impressively at the start of the pandemic, to please help our schools raise vital funds, which will ultimately provide for our children who've had more than enough taken away from them during 2020/21.
I will share 100% of the profits of my first children’s book with all Penarth primary schools, including: Evenlode Primary School, Albert Primary School, Victoria Primary School, Ysgol Pen Y Garth, St Joseph's R.C. Primary School, Fairfield Primary School, Cogan Primary School and Llandough Primary School.
* The £3,200 covers full production costs, including illustration, formatting, book cover design, ISBN registration and printing of 1,000 paperback books in full colour.
* All donations will be fully-refunded through profits generated in September book sales.
A very personal quest
My name is Ben and I'm the very proud father of Charlie and Molly. Anyone who knows me, is used to seeing an outwardly confident, 100mph individual with puppy-dog like enthusiasm and a desire to entertain people. Making people happy makes me happy. It's that simple.
I also struggle with anxiety, ADHD and occasional depressive episodes, but that’s just me and the highs and lows of my genetic make-up.
Two weeks ago I woke up early, but that's not unusual. This day was different. I couldn't and didn't want to get out of bed. The day before I had been signed off work for 56 days due to anxiety and poor mental health. Negative thoughts and palpitations immobilised me, and I lay there for hours worrying about my finances, how I’d pay the bills and how on earth I'd get the kids through the summer holidays. I eventually got up and dragged my butt downstairs and made a STRONG cup of coffee.
Instead of giving in, which almost felt easier, I started to make a list of all the things I was good at, things I ‘could’ control and things I was passionate about. I needed a positive point of focus to get through how I was feeling.
On that list was the book I’m seeking your funding for - The Pink Princess. I wrote it several years ago following the loss of my daughter Grace, but despite encouragement from others, lack of confidence had always prevented me from self-publishing. I'd approached major publishers, but they tend to work through agents, and you try securing the services of a good agent!!!
The time felt right! I had an opportunity to use my book to give back to my town and say thanks to the schools, so that's exactly what I decided to do.
Oh cr@p, it's happening!
Once I'd informed local schools of my plans, I suddenly had no more excuses; this was happening! It took me out of my comfort zone, but also gave me some much needed accountability, and that kept moving me forward to self-publishing my first book.
In the last two weeks I have:
- Contacted all schools
- Secured an incredible illustrator in Mexico (as seen on this page)
- Identified a fantastic printing company in the Gower
- Set up a publishing label
- Registered the book's ISBN
- Created this Go Fund Me campaign
In the last two weeks I have felt incredibly alive, incredibly happy and I'm determined to see this continue.
In short, I have gone from wanting to just get through each day, to not wanting each day to end.
So what is The Pink Princess about?
It might surprise you that it’s actually about a princess who likes pink. How very cliché I hear you say, but more cliché would be if you just bought the book for your daughters, and not your son!
This is a book about dreams coming true, about happy ever afters, and a story I am certain will entertain parents as well as their children. It’s about imagining a world without boundaries, when Covid-19 has stolen that from our kids in recent times.
Please show your support
Penarth is a community I believe in. Right now, I’m asking the Penarth community to believe in me! This is just the beginning of what I feel I can achieve.
Any support you can offer is hugely appreciated. Please also spread the word by sharing the link to this fundraiser on Facebook.
Take care and stay safe,