I began my formal writing career following the birth of my third child in 2015 when I launched a parenting blog, creating honest, funny and frank parenting blog posts with my best friend, Louise Burgess. The blog ran for almost two years and lead to us writing a parenting column in the local newspaper as well as featuring in vlogs and posts of other bloggers including Selfish Mother and Absolutely Prabulous. Many of these posts are now available for you to read on this website, click here to read blog posts.
From there, my interest in writing grew further when I began to have my work published by other platforms such as The Guardian Online and Kent-Teach.com. To be honest, I was amazed that anyone would want to read my ramblings, but it seems that they do, and I continue to write posts for all of my own websites, as well as writing articles and contributing to articles in the media.
In terms of children’s literature, I have always written stories for my own children, and following their positive responses, as well as the feedback I gained from my other writing, I took the opportunity to turn my creations into stories for other children and families to enjoy.
I have worked hard, teaching myself to write, illustrate and self-publish my work. It has not been an easy path and many lessons have been learned along the way. I have consulted with the amazing Emma Thomson, author of fantastic books such as Felicity Wishes and Princess Pearl and I am eternally grateful for all of her advice.
I now sell my books on Amazon and Kindle, and I donate 20% of the profits directly to The Play Well Trust, the charity that I founded in January 2019.
I would be so happy if you bought one (or more) of my books to share at home with your children. The printed versions have extra activities in the back to keep your little ones busy! SO MANY MORE BOOKS TO COME!
Charity work: The Play Well Trust
I founded The Play Well Trust in January 2019, following the shocking diagnosis of a brain tumour in one of my daughter's nursery school friends.
I felt compelled to use my skills and knowledge of Child Development and Early Years Education to support the little girl and her family through the use of play and creativity - all packed neatly into a Feel Better Box.
The little girl, had attended my daughter’s 4th birthday party in the summer and had loved all of the creative and messy activities available there, so this seemed to be a good place to start. I decided to make her a “party in a box”, so that she had some creative, play based activities that she could use at home with her siblings and family, while she was recovering from her treatments. I packed a shoe box with all sorts of goodies, wrapped it in brown paper and delivered the first ever “Feel Better Box”.
The feedback from the family about the box was so positive, that I began to offer boxes to other families where a child had a serious illness, as a pilot scheme, to see what impact it would have, if any.
The feedback was conclusive; Play and creativity were really benefiting the children and families who had received Feel Better Boxes, and it was clear that there was a need for this service both in hospital and at home.
The Play Well Trust continues to grow from strength to strength. In its first year, The Play Well Trust supported families across the UK - 73% of those families were affected by childhood cancer.
Play is the universal language of children and an essential part of what makes us human. Without play, vital interactions are lost and thought processes are hindered.
Play helps children to build relationships and gives them a safe space to work through feelings and emotions. It helps them to make plans, find solutions, to ease anxieties and to interact with friends and family in a way that they might not feel able to in the ‘real world.’
Even as adults play is essential to our thought processing and relationship building. We play with ideas until we find the way forward, we go out with our friends and have some ‘down time’ and as parents and care givers we use play to bond with and interact with our children.
Play is especially important for children who are experiencing long term illness, trauma, loss or life changes. Play between family members, whether it be a parent and child, siblings, grand parents and children, or others, helps to build stronger relationships and offers the opportunity for better communication and understanding.
Play enables a child who is unwell to be free of their worries and illness for a time, it removes the medical aspect of the relationship between them and whoever they are playing with, and it gives them back a little bit of their childhood.
Boost communication and understanding
Allow space for laughter and fun
Allow space for tears and frustrations
Lower stress levels and blood pressure
Boost the immune system
Remind us all of who we really are
Therefore play is the very essence of all of the work we do at The Play Well Trust.