AN illustrated book created by a Warwick-based charity to help children battling a terminal illness, has been recognised by The British Medical Association.
Back At School and the Wibbly Wobbly Tummy, the third in the Olly The Brave series of books produced by Molly Olly’s Wishes, aims to help children explore feelings they may experience when they’ve had a cancer diagnosis as well as understand their treatment.
It follows on from success with Books 1 and 2 – Olly The Brave and The Wigglys and Olly The Brave and Chemotherapy – which were also Highly Commended.
The series follows the journey of charity mascot Olly The Brave and forms part of the special packs, also containing a toy lion with its own Hickman line and detachable mane, which are distributed to hospitals and health professionals across the UK.
Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.
The charity works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.
All six of the books have been written and illustrated by artist and author Diane Maybey from Warwick. Diane specialises in children’s literature and the creative arts and has worked therapeutically with children for a learning disability charity and within Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She is currently training to be a child and adolescent psychotherapist.
The judges said of the third book: “It is perfectly prepared for children as they embark on a new chapter of their life after a period of illness and/or hospital treatment.
“The book is written in a way that will appeal to children of many ages and the lovely lion that comes with it will be a supportive, friendly, and reassuring companion for all those who take him with them on their journey. An excellent piece of work with real potential to improve outcomes and experience for some of our most vulnerable children.”
The other books in the Olly The Brave series are Book 4, Ben’s Big Stuff – created with brothers and sisters in mind, helping them to talk through their different emotions.
Book 5, Nights of Cuddles, which tackles the difficult subject of end of life and helps to make space for feelings and worries.
The sixth and final book in the series, Finding Life After Olly, supports children, their families and friends to talk about loss.
The annual BMA PLG Patient Information Awards recognise high-quality, accessible and well-designed patient information as well as act as a platform for sharing best practice to help deliver better patient outcomes.
Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “These books offer emotional support to children and their families. They look and feel like any children’s story book and explain Olly’s journey very sensitively but openly. The feedback from families and health professionals is incredibly positive and they are very grateful to have them as a resource.”
“Molly Olly’s have always been aware of the need for good quality patient information and a variety of resources to help different groups of children.
“We regularly receive feedback from families and health professionals commenting on the positive impact that the Olly The Brave lion and books have for children undergoing treatment and siblings. The endorsement the charity gets from being shortlisted by the BMA helps us to reach a wider audience and is great recognition for the work of the charity and the author and Illustrator, Diane Maybey.
To find out more information about the charity or how to help or donate or apply for a copy of one of the books, visit: https://www.mollyolly.co.uk