My name is Alyson Marsh and I have just created my first book which I have written and illustrated after teaching as a secondary school art teacher for the last 23years. My experience as a teacher and mother has helped me to create the perfect gift for a young person who is suffering with bereavement. I started the book 13 years ago when I lost my father and while I was pregnant with my first child.
The book ‘A Better Place’ takes the reader on a journey through the eyes of a little girl called Thora who has just lost her daddy. Thora is left feeling confused and lost in the beginning of the book but starts to believe that her daddy has actually gone somewhere special, to “A Better Place” where he can fulfil his dreams and do the things he didn’t get to do while he was alive.
A parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; around 23,600 a year. This equates to around 111 children being bereaved of a parent every day. As a culture we don’t tend to talk about death, especially with children. I believe that my book will encourage this necessary discourse to take place and hopefully provide the person left behind with some hope.
We have just raised £9,000 on a crowdfunding site called Kickstarter to raise funds to get the book published. We have just had the book printed and are taking orders. Now is the time to get this book out there and helping as many young people as possible.
My aim is to try to get the book into every school in the UK and although we have a long way to go I am very proud of our achievements so far in a relatively short period of time.