Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Leytonstone teacher fundraising for book to help grieving children

Louise drew on her experience as a play therapist and losing her mother to cancer

Hero for Leytonstone teacher fundraising for book to help grieving children
An illustration from Hurricane Brain
28 April 2022

A Leytonstone teacher, play therapist and poet is raising funds to publish an illustrated book for grieving children.A Leytonstone teacher, play therapist and poet is raising funds to publish an illustrated book for grieving children.

Louise Hale, who performs spoken word as Curly Wordy, has already raised more than £3,000 of her £5,000 goal to publish Hurricane Brain.Louise Hale, who performs spoken word as Curly Wordy, has already raised more than £3,000 of her £5,000 goal to publish Hurricane Brain.

The book, aimed at bereaved children aged seven to twelve, tells the story of Keith, who goes on a mission to “find grief” following the loss of his mum.  The book, aimed at bereaved children aged seven to twelve, tells the story of Keith, who goes on a mission to “find grief” following the loss of his mum.  

Louise said she was inspired to write the book after losing her mother to a rare cancer of the bile duct, adding: “Only 20 in one million get that type of cancer but she was definitely one in a million to me.”Louise said she was inspired to write the book after losing her mother to a rare cancer of the bile duct, adding: “Only 20 in one million get that type of cancer but she was definitely one in a million to me.”

Louise Hale in her Leytonstone homeLouise Hale in her Leytonstone home

She added: “As a play therapist, I help children make sense of their emotions, find their voice in feelings and learn ways and techniques that help them release emotional stress.She added: “As a play therapist, I help children make sense of their emotions, find their voice in feelings and learn ways and techniques that help them release emotional stress.

“This book is for children who are trying to navigate their way through the plethora of feelings that grief can trigger in the body.“This book is for children who are trying to navigate their way through the plethora of feelings that grief can trigger in the body.

“My hope is also that it will assist professionals on how to reach out and support a grieving child.. in schools and the wider community. “My hope is also that it will assist professionals on how to reach out and support a grieving child.. in schools and the wider community. 

“For every two books backed, I am going to commit to donating one free copy to a local London public library, school or hospital.”“For every two books backed, I am going to commit to donating one free copy to a local London public library, school or hospital.”

Louise currently works as a play therapist in Leytonstone’s Buxton School and teaches part-time at The Jenny Hammond Primary School, also in Leytonstone.Louise currently works as a play therapist in Leytonstone’s Buxton School and teaches part-time at The Jenny Hammond Primary School, also in Leytonstone.

Following her mother’s death in 2009, she suffered a decade-long writer’s block, adding: “I fell out of love with life for a long time… I just couldn’t do the things I once loved.Following her mother’s death in 2009, she suffered a decade-long writer’s block, adding: “I fell out of love with life for a long time… I just couldn’t do the things I once loved.

“My mother taught me that kindness and being of service goes a long way so, by writing this book in her memory, I hope to help young children who have to deal with losing a parent so young.”“My mother taught me that kindness and being of service goes a long way so, by writing this book in her memory, I hope to help young children who have to deal with losing a parent so young.”

Louise has until 25th May to raise the remaining money or else all donations will be returned to backers.Louise has until 25th May to raise the remaining money or else all donations will be returned to backers.

Donate to her fundraiser here.Donate to her fundraiser here.