During lockdown, and the countless late night feeds with my baby, I began writing some poetry and rhyming stories centered around wellbeing themes, with the intention of supporting children's emotional wellbeing. Themes in my writing have emerged from my experiences of parenting young children as well as from my professional knowledge, understanding and experience as a therapist. I've always loved rhyming stories and poetry. Some of my most cherished times as a parent involve countless cuddles and story times.

The impact of the global pandemic that we're still surviving, let alone recovering from, has in part sparked this passion within me. I can see clearly that moving forwards, our children will need an abundance of emotional support to recover. Home schooling my eight and six year old was a huge and sometimes overwhelming task. Especially alongside having a lockdown baby.

During this time, it became clear to me that it's important for the curriculum to be as much about teaching our children skills to look after their emotions, manage stress, develop resilience and practice self-care as it is about learning their phonics and maths. I'm now advocating for this in schools. I want to encourage all primary classrooms to develop an area which contains books and resources of this nature, for children to have access to on a daily basis.

I now create activity packs for children to engage with these themes, which I'll be sharing on my website as free resources for parents and teachers to utilise. I'm immensely proud to be working with Storytime Magazine to support their emotional literacy and wellbeing content. I highly recommend that parents and teachers subscribe to their magazine as they're an excellent resource, containing wonderfully engaging stories and activities, along with some quality teaching resources. Available from September, together with their monthly magazine, will be a Happiness Pack which contains a variety of insights and activities to support children with expressing their emotions, building their resilience and practicing self-care. I've loved every moment of supporting Storytime to develop this pack. There's also a section to help parents, carers and teachers too. In addition, from October, I'll be contributing to a section in their magazine called My Mind Matters! It'll inform and inspire children to learn about good mental health.

I've now written a range of rhyming stories that I'll be publishing as a well-being collection for children aged four to seven. The first is a picture book called Fantastic Fin Faces his Fears. Fin faces various challenges that young children typically face. He embodies different inspiring characters and animals which enable him to find his courage to overcome these challenges. Andy Whitehead has created some wonderful illustrations that have brought the story to life! You can find out more about Andy's work on his website. At the back of the book, there's a Fear Fact File for children and some tips to support parents. I used this concept with my son when he was younger, and it worked very well. I'm extremely excited for it to be released, and hope that it inspires both children (and grown-ups) to find their courage and face their fears! I'll be donating some of the profits to the charity, Place2Be, who provide counselling and mental health support to children in schools.

From September, available from my website, will be free teaching resources to compliment the book for primary schools to download. I'll also be offering local schools in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire areas an author visit, with a well-being focus, alongside my newly developed workshop called Get Active with Emotions.