Special delivery…

Friday saw Liz of Busylizzie Art and Adam Fouracre of Taunton based charity “Stand Against Violence”, collect the first copies of the special new resource to support the new wave of primary workshops, from Mark Gladstone-Smith at Carly Press…

‘Once upon a time’ was borne out of the need for some visual focus for the primary school children, when telling Lloyd’s story during star painting workshops for the Constellation project in 2015, which commemorated ten years since his tragic death.

It began with four or five quick watercolour sketches and Adam’s words in a note-book and slowly evolved, during spare time in between ‘Busylizzie’ commissions, from January 2016 to February 2017. This beautifully produced picture book has emerged with the skill and generosity of Mark Gladstone-Smith at Carly Press in Wellington.

As an experienced primary teacher, I knew the huge benefits of developing the social and emotional aspects of learning as well as the academic, and when Adam asked me to consider developing some SAV workshops using Lloyd’s story and combining awareness of alcohol / substance abuse suitable for Primary aged children, I was keen to combine all of these elements into a day for Year 6 (10-11 year olds).

Having agreed to plan these workshops, I needed a suitable resource more than ever, so I set about creating more illustrations to capture elements of ‘ordinary childhood life events’ which would act as a back-drop to the telling Lloyd’s story – SAV’s unique vehicle for their work.

Creating the extra paintings was an emotional ‘journey’ in itself, with a son of my own in the same school year as Lloyd and personal memories of the family’s connection with Kingston St. Mary Primary School.

In between designing and painting the KS1 foyer at Combe St. Nicholas Primary School, organising, planning and delivering the schools art workshops for Taunton Live 2016, designing and hand-making a set of Harry Potter-style Wedding Stationery based on the Marauders map, mounting an exhibition of my watercolour work in Eden Flowers for July and August and several other jobs too, I continued to create more illustrations and began playing around with Adam’s original words, to create the text for the book.
The mention of Eden Flowers is so important to actually realising the finished product, as it was whilst I was hanging my mini exhibition in Eden Flowers in July 2016, that I had a chance meeting with Mark of Carly Press! Without his knowledge of what is possible and the dedication of April, the graphic designer, the book would still be an idea flitting around in my head!
After several drafts (thanks to Megan of SAV here too) and experimental PowerPoints to try out story, it was ready to take to Carly Press, to begin the process of turning the original concept of the book as teaching resource, into reality.
March 3rd, fittingly, the day after World Book Day, saw the ‘hand-over’ of the first copies of the picture book to be used in the SAV Primary Workshops, at the Carly Press offices, Chelston, near Wellington.

What a sense of personal achievement, but hopefully what an impact on many, many children’s lives as they explore their emotions, the consequences of their actions and the effects of substances like alcohol on their decision-making faculties through these new primary workshops. SAV – aiming to reduce violence through education.


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