I am so terrified about introducing this but here it goes.... This is a project I have been working on for a while and it is also extremely personal to me due to my own past experiences so I think it’s only right that I tell you about them! When I left school 20 years ago, I think it’s safe to say that I had a very bright future ahead of me. I was a reasonably accomplished classical singer, a creative writer and got a place at university to pursue both. My dream was to study children’s literature and become a published author. I enjoyed my course and was doing well until suddenly, at the end of the first year, I began to experience horrendous and uncontrollable anxiety. I finally withdrew from my studies six months later, when it became apparent that I could not even sit in a lecture theatre without becoming overwhelmed and suffering anxiety attacks, there was no way I could carry on with my course. I resigned myself to the fact that I would never write again and up until 12 months ago, I hadn’t..... Last year my three year old son asked me to tell him a story and it was then I realised that my passion for writing was still in me somewhere and with his help, I slowly began to create my children’s characters again. Over the past six months, I have written a children's picture book about an elephant called Elvis who finds himself homeless and lonely through no fault of his own and the story of how a good samaritan steps in to help him. As much as I would be fulfilling a personal ambition to see my work in print, I wrote this book to highlight the message that homelessness and other difficult circumstances can happen to any of us unexpectedly and through no fault of our own. I feel that it is so important to instil that message in young children and so the book is aimed at 3-7 year olds. I am working with Julian House to release the book and all the proceeds will go directly to their work. We are aiming for a release date at the end of November or beginning of December this year. The reason for the Christmas launch is both for retail purpose and also to acknowledge the extreme hardship that individuals who are street homeless face every day, but especially in the winter months. I am lucky enough to have several experienced professionals lending their support to myself and the charity in order to advance with this project and I am in final discussions with an incredible illustrator. But in order to bring Elvis to life so he can spread his message I need your help. To cover the cost of the project and to ensure that Julian House receives the maximum possible financial assistance from the proceeds, I am hoping to raise £3500 in financial support. This will cover some marketing, illustration, book design, all printing costs and distribution. I fully appreciate that I am asking for your help during uncertain times. The reason for me continuing to proceed with my idea in the current climate, is because charities like Julian House need help more now than ever before to continue the amazing work that they do so I have to keep going. Anyone who knows me knows how committed and passionate I am about helping the more vulnerable members of our society and I believe that Elvis and his friends will help spread that message far and wide to a younger audience. I am so excited. It’s taken a great deal of courage for me to finally put pen to paper and put my work out there. I would love for it to be used in such a positive way. We would hugely appreciate any support you can give to us. Thanks for reading this, Love Helen (and Elvis) xx
- The Flying Mixologist
- Curo .
- Rebecca Hartnell
- Michelle Mogg
Corsham, South West England, United Kingdom