A Shropshire businesswoman has become the first to support a brand new initiative aimed at raising self-esteem among young children.

Lorna McCann, an independent public relations and media consultant, is supporting local author Sarah Griffiths as she embarks on a long-term project to build greater resilience among primary and secondary school pupils through her new book ‘Sophie’s Spectacles’.

The sponsorship pledge by Lorna McCann PR has kickstarted the project’s £5,000 fundraising bid.

Business owner Lorna, who is also an award-winning children’s author in her own right as well as the founder of the Rural Schools Write, Read, Inspire Project, hopes other businesses will now follow suit and back the worthwhile initiative.

Sponsorship of the project will enable Sarah, who gave up her job as a primary teacher to pursue her passion for writing, to cover the costs of illustrating, printing and publishing her new rhyming book, as well as deliver workshops in local schools aimed at building confidence and self-esteem.

Lorna, who specialises in public relations for authors and small businesses, said: “I have worked with Sarah since the start of her career as a children’s author and this new project has the capacity to help change young people’s lives.

“Sarah, like many of the other authors I work with, is extremely passionate about reading and writing and her latest book and initiative will enable young children to become more positive about their own futures by helping to build confidence and greater self-esteem.

“I’m really proud to be the first business to sponsor this fantastic project and I really do hope other businesses will get behind the initiative and offer their support.”

The two authors first met two years ago when Lorna, who had just published her first book ‘Wendy and the Biscuit Tree’, worked as a volunteer helper in the school where Sarah held her last teaching post.

Lorna said: “It was one of those chance meetings in life which just happened at the right time for us both. When I first met Sarah I had just published my first book and was in the process of launching my own PR business to assist other authors. We talked lots about books and writing and Sarah mentioned how much she wanted to publish her own book.

“I introduced her to my publisher Team Author UK and then several months later Sarah got in touch to say she was about to release her first book ‘Douglas’s Trousers’ and would I help her with some marketing.”

“I’ve watched Sarah grow in confidence throughout the last year or so and she is so passionate about what she does – I really hope other businesses will get behind her fantastic new initiative.”

As well as sharing the same publisher, both Lorna and Sarah work in schools across Shropshire and have had their books illustrated by artist Holly Bushnell.

Lorna, author of Amazon bestsellers ‘Wendy and the Biscuit Tree’ and ‘Felix – the small boy with the BIG imagination’ is the founder of The Rural Schools Write, Read, Inspire Project, which piloted in June this year.

The week-long project, which was funded by The Rural Charity, provided free author visits to a number of schools across rural Shropshire.

The project will run again in June 2019 and in future Lorna hopes to expand the initiative to include as many schools as possible and a variety of children’s authors including Sarah.

Both Lorna and Sarah are passionate about inspiring the next generation of young readers and writers and are currently collaborating in other ways to enhance literacy education across the county.

Businesses wishing to support Sarah’s new project can contact her on 07970935241 or sjgriffiths76@hotmail.com. For further information on The Rural School Write Read Inspire Project visit www.lornamccannauthor.co.uk and for more information on the PR services offered by Lorna McCann PR visit www.lornamccannpr.co.uk