Tom’s Illustrated Book – (funded project)

Hi, my name is Tom Metcalf and I would like to apply for help from the Recovery Development Fund so that I can get my illustrated book project off the ground.

I began volunteering with a charity called the Wave Project in Bigbury­-on­-sea, teaching young people with various difficulties in life, confidence and self esteem – through surfing. This has been great and I really love to see the positive effect surfing has on the young people I’ve been mentoring, as well as it being good for me too. I have also been creating a lot of artwork and I have drawn a picture a day for over 7 weeks now, all surf related. The idea of this series of pictures is to be able to have an exhibition and hopefully sell some of them with proceeds going to the Wave Project. You can view these pictures on the Search for Wellbeing Facebook page.

I also enjoy writing and creating poetry, examples of which can be found on the Search for Wellbeing website. This has led to the idea of creating a book, written and illustrated by myself, and it is this project I would like help with. It will contain the stories of fictional characters who find strength in challenging situations through surfing, based on my experiences with the Wave Project. It would have mini stories about people with various difficulties, from mental health and disability. One example would be Anxious Annie, who learns to stand up tall when she’s feeling anxious, by being able to think back to when she conquered standing up on a surfboard and the joy that brought her, kind of like a super power.

This book would be all about recovery, from me creating it and the achievement that would bring in my recovery, to the lessons people would learn from reading it, helping them or someone they care for in their recovery. Publicity would also help in raising mental health awareness. I would like to put on a launch show, which I will need funding to be able to do. This would be when the free downloadable version of the book would be made available, with the potential that if I could get funding from elsewhere, or a publisher interested in the future, it could be turned into an actual book. This event would involve the community and I would be able to see how many people attended, as well as measuring how many copies of the book were downloaded, monitoring any feedback I got on it.