The latest book in a series of stories aimed at helping children understand mental health has been released – with Leicester City Hockey Club at the centre of the newest instalment.
‘Alan and Anna Anxiety Play for Leicester City Hockey Club’ is the latest book to feature the characters Alan and Anna Anxiety, created by Tracey Lawrence and Kerry Hearsey. Inspired by the authors’ own experiences of mental health and working with children in their respective roles, the books have addressed an issue of limited resources available for children regarding accessing support and understanding mental health.
“Many adults struggle to open these discussions (on mental health) with children,” explained co-author Kerry Hearsey. “Using these books helps as a vehicle to raise awareness, open communication and allows children to directly link with a character, such as Alan or Anna, to explain their emotions.
“Often, children are easily able to connect emotional feelings of sadness or happiness, whereas anxiety can be difficult to interpret. Alan and Anna Anxiety help with this process.”
In the latest book set at Leicester City Hockey Club, the story continues of how Alan and Anna have found that participating in exercise has had a positive impact in helping their anxiety levels. Connecting with their friend Sporty Sally, they are introduced to Leicester City Hockey Club, where they discuss their nervousness and anxiety at trying something new and arriving in a new place. However, they are put at ease by the players around them as they carry out hockey drills and understand the benefits of sport and team exercise.
“Alan Anxiety has had an incredible impact on the children that have connected with the books so far,” continued Kerry. “We’ve since created dolls and keyrings which aid role play and act as transitional toys for further support. Parents, guardians and teachers have directly told us that they have had children comment that ‘they’ve felt like Alan’ or similar, which has opened up discussions around mental health among families as a whole. While the first book focused on opening discussion, the additional books – including ‘Alan and Anna Anxiety Play for Leicester City Hockey Club’ – focus on tools and techniques that children can try in order to help them with their anxiety.”
“Now more than ever we realise how important good mental health and wellbeing is for young people,” commented Sarah Treanor, Vice-President Development at Leicester City Hockey Club. “If this book can help one young person overcome their anxiety and see sport as a positive way to help them, then we have been successful.
“We are thrilled to be associated with these books and how they will help young people.”
Please click here to buy a copy of any Alan Anxiety book, with £1 of every sale going direct to the Leicester City Hockey Club Foundation.
Meanwhile, Tracey and Kerry are also seeking sponsorship from businesses across the city to support getting copies of these books into primary schools around the city and across the county.
£100 = 12 primary schools receiving a copy of the book, with £16 to Leicester City Hockey Club Foundation
£250 = 31 primary schools receiving a copy of the book, with £33 to Leicester City Hockey Club Foundation
£500 = 62 primary schools receiving a copy of the book, with £66 to Leicester City Hockey Club Foundation
£1,000 = 125 primary schools receiving a copy of the book, with £125 to Leicester City Hockey Club Foundation