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Children’s book in aid of Julian House

Local mental health worker Helen Brian has launched a GoFundMe Appeal to help publish her children’s book about homelessness in aid of charity Julian House. After suffering from anxiety and seeing the devastating effects of homelessness, her book entitled Elvis seeks to spread a positive message while raising money for a good cause.

As a support worker in Bath, Helen has seen first-hand the effects of homelessness. Many of her clients suffer with low self-esteem, confidence issues and mental health problems. Something which Helen herself suffered with at university:

“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.”

After leaving university, Helen went on to become a mental health support worker and a mother – another reason which encouraged her to get back to writing:

“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… 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.”

With homelessness now being a common sight in towns and cities, she hopes the book, named after the main character who is an elephant, will help children understand that homelessness can happen to anyone. But equally how an act of kindness, however small, can help transform someone else’s life for the better. 

With all the book’s profits being donated to charity Julian House, who support men and women experiencing homelessness across the South West, Helen is asking the public for support in helping her bring Elvis’ message alive. She’s hoping to raise £3500 in financial support to cover illustration, book design, printing costs and distribution and hopes individuals, companies and sponsors will get behind her message.

“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.”

To find out more and support the appeal please click here: