Norma Cooper with the book

A proud mum has published a fun bedtime story her late daughter crafted — almost a year after she died of Covid. 

Norma Cooper, aged 83, has worked hard over the last few months to ensure the story that her late daughter wrote is turned into a book.  Her daughter, Dawn Downes of Atherstone, Warwickshire, died aged 60 in February this year. 

Norma said that Dawn had always made-up bedtime stories for Maddie, her granddaughter, now 11, including one about Annie the Ant. The story features guest appearances from both Dawn and Maddie. 

Norma said: “Maddie used to love the Annie the Ant story so much. We wanted a way to honour Dawn and help others at the same time as this was always her aim. 

“Lovingly creating this book now as we mourn our devastating loss seemed the right thing, bringing the light of hope into our family’s darkness.” 

All proceeds from the book will go to charities that Dawn worked hard to support, including the Epilepsy Society as she lost her nephew Andrew to epilepsy in 2019, when he was just 26. 

The short story, aimed at children aged four to nine, has been brought to life with the help of author and book mentor Mandy Ward, along with her business partner, David Hambling, Publishing Consultant, with wonderful, colourful illustrations from local artist Ade Skermer. 

Dawn worked at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and was also a Labour councillor in North Warwickshire. As a UNISON member, Dawn worked hard to get a better working environment for her colleagues and was also a regular fundraiser for the hospital’s own charity. 

When she died, the flag on the North Warwickshire Borough Council building was flown at half-mast and tributes poured in. Some colleagues wore Mickey Mouse ears as Dawn’s funeral cortège made its way past George Eliot Hospital, as she was a huge Disney fan. 

Mandy, who started a company in lockdown called WriteMyBook.co.uk, to help people write and self-publish their own book, said: “Norma is such a lovely lady who has made a very special book happen. Age is no barrier to getting a book published and paying tribute to a precious daughter in this way is hugely touching.” 

“We are delighted to support this first-time author and it’s wonderful that Norma has spent her time, effort, money and love on the book to now give back all profits to charity. We’re wishing Norma all the luck in the world in raising a great amount.”

Anyone who would like to buy a copy of Annie the Ant, can buy a paper copy on Amazon for £9.99 and via Amazon Kindle for just £4.99. It will also be available to buy on Mandy’s website. (WriteMyBook.co.uk)