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Young parents from Salford are set to celebrate the launch of a new children's book inspired by their experiences.

(2 Posts)
Blackpoolheights Sat 20-Sep-14 17:15:46

The published book, complete with foreword from Horrible Histories author Terry Deary, is the result of a creative literacy project funded by The Lowry, designed to get families reading together more often. The project has seen a group of young parents from Salford turn authors and illustrators to create this original storybook with guidance from professionals.

Terry Deary, who has lent his support to this pioneering scheme and has written 260 books for children, has given The Hedgehog and her Hoglet his stamp of approval. He says;

"I love this book. There are a lot of great picture books available for parents and children to share. This one is up there with the best of them...The way the book evolved, as part of a project to engage the community, is an example of how more books should be written "by the people, for the people". The result is a book I read and say, "I wish I'd written that!"

The Lowry employed professional writers, illustrators and storytellers to lead activities with the young parents and their children designed to bring the world of books to life in different ways, using song, movement, rhyme and theatre, to get the families inspired to put pen to paper.

Bringing Books to Life for Young Parents and their Children

The Hedgehog and her Hoglet, written for pre-school children, tells the tale of a hedgehog who "*turns grey* after becoming a mum until her child, the hoglet, takes her on an adventure to regain her colour. The book explores the special two-way relationship between parent and child, which was the theme chosen by the group of young parents involved in the project.

Melissa Woodburn, 19, from Salford is one of the young parents behind the book. Melissa said;

"When you become a parent at a young age it can be difficult, it might mean you don't finish school or college and whilst all your mates are off out having a good time, you can get quite lonely, spending all your time at home and you have to grow up quickly. All your confidence goes, as a Mum you look different as your body changes, you lose your friends. Projects like this mean that you can meet new people who have had similar experiences to you, you start to build friendships and by getting out and about your confidence starts to grow. Our book The Hedgehog and her Hoglet is a story about these feelings in a really simple way. Its a collection of all our stories woven together and I can't wait to have a copy!"

Julia Fawcett, Chief Executive of The Lowry, said;

I would firstly like to congratulate these young parents and their children on creating this wonderful picture book. The Lowry conducted extensive consultation work in the community and learned that some young parents in Salford did not feel confident with reading to their children. I hope the young parents are very proud to see their book on the shelves in local shops and libraries and that their achievements encourage them to make reading a regular part of their families lives. We at The Lowry are delighted that the Hedgehog and her Hoglet will now be enjoyed by many families in Salford and beyond.

The book will be available to buy online at Amazon and from The Lowrys Gift Shop from Wed 24 September. All proceeds from the sales will fund the continuation of the project for a second year. A free copy of the book with accompanying resources will be given to all SureStart Centres and libraries in Salford for other families to enjoy.

The Lowry have worked in partnership with Salford City Council to deliver this project.

Salford City Council's Teenage Pregnancy Team works with those young women who conceive before their 18th birthday offering 1:1 and group support on issues like housing, parenting, access to health care services, relationships, emotional support, and finance. The Teenage Pregnancy Team also has a young fathers worker who takes referrals of young men who are fathers or fathers to be up to their 25th birthday and will provide similar support including support to find training or employment.

This project was made possible by the much appreciated donations from the public to The Lowrys Christmas Appeal 2013 which raised £25,000.

Blackpoolheights Sat 20-Sep-14 17:25:48

The lovely cover of the book.

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