Granny raises funds for school with book about friendship and loneliness

John Howlett, Terri Baker at Betty Layward School with Eleri and Billy and their book The Lonely Poppy

John Howlett and Terri Baker at Betty Layward School with Eleri and Billy and their book The Lonely Poppy - Credit: Supplied

A grandmother has written a fundraising book featuring characters named after pupils at her grandson's Stoke Newington primary school.

Terri Baker joined forces with illustrator John Howlett to create The Lonely Poppy - about making friends and how it can feel to be lonely.

Terri is grandmother to eight-year-old Billy, while John is dad to Eleri - both year three pupils at Betty Layward School.

The beautifully illustrated children's book and associated school calendars are now on sale to raise funds for the Hackney primary.

John and Terri have been selling their book in the playground at Betty Layward School Stoke Newington

John and Terri have been selling their book in the playground at Betty Layward School Stoke Newington - Credit: Supplied

Both Terri and John live in Stoke Newington and plan to take the idea to primary schools across the borough so they can adapt it with the names of their own pupils.

Copies of The Lonely Poppy are raising funds for Betty Layward School

Copies of The Lonely Poppy are raising funds for Betty Layward School attended by Terri Baker's grandson and John Howlett's daughter - Credit: Supplied

"I’m always amazed at what a wonderful, impressive and kind-hearted school Betty Layward is," says Terri. "My grandson Billy is in Year 3 and I wanted to write a story for younger children who might be nervous or anxious about starting primary school or who might have struggled during lockdown.

"I decided to include the names of some of the children in Billy’s year. If they wish, Betty Layward can reprint a new version every year to incorporate their new intake of pupils into the story. It was a really enjoyable lockdown project working with John and I'm delighted to see that it's selling well and raising much needed funds for the school."

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