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Heartfelt children’s book sharing stories of personal challenges announced

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Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis has worked as a journalist at the North Central Review since 2022, with a particular focus on the City of Whittlesea and stories for the Whittlesea Review. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications majoring in journalism and focuses on politics, community, and health with the occasional niche sports story finding its way in front of her.

By Pam Kiriakidis

BGGROUPAU founder Benjamin Gregory and artist Amber Sindoni have collaborated to share a heartfelt children’s book about coping with anxiety and the loss of loved ones.

I’m Safe, Happy and Healthy tells the tale of a boy named Billy who developed anxiety after the passing of his mother. The multi-layered tale for children portrays anxiety as a creature, uncovering the power of affirmation with the presence of a butterfly.

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“I think talking about and using the power of affirmation by affirming something to yourself multiple times helps sub-consciously change your mind set into thinking that your’e able to achieve a certain outcome and that’s the whole concept of the book,” Mr Gregory said.

Inspired by his mother’s words and memory, Mr Gregory, also known as Benny Gregs, discovered the story through his own personal journey of his mother’s passing in 2020.

Mr Gregory’s mother had her own practice of self-care and wellbeing across the Mitchell Shire, a message he plans to share across Australia when the book launches in March next year.

“I had this thought that it would be quite beautiful to write a book based on what my mum teaches,” he said.

“We’re looking at coming to the Mitchell Shire area for our first run of book tours and actually speaking to people in my local town.”

Ms Sindoni, also known as music artist Ambraya, was a key figure in Mr Gregory’s healing, as she helped him through his loss, and bonded over creating a tale that supports others in grief.

“She knew my mum really well and was part of my friendship group that really helped me through losing my mum, and it was quite a special time,” Mr Gregory said.

Ms Sindoni said she wanted to help amplify the message.

“I think we both felt really passionate about sharing the teachings of his mum and also sharing what affirmations can do for people,” she said.

Ms Sindoni said the entire experience of creating a tale with a best friend had been significant, as the ideas were able to come off paper to form a tale.

“It’s been a very fulfilling experience and I think its special to know that people in these communities that can read this story and be able to take something from it,” she said.

“At the heart of it it’s also like our friendship, and how I’ve seen Benny grow as a person over the last couple of years and seeing how he’s dealt with his own grief.”

The sincere book is funded through website GoFundMe, where people can donate and can receive a hard-copy book and tote bag if spent more than $45, as well as a ticket to the launch event if they donate more than $100.

“Every donation is really much appreciated by both of us, because it is a self-published book, there’s a lot of things that go into it,” Ms Sindoni said.

I’m Safe, Happy and Healthy will launch in March 2023, with a book tour soon to be confirmed across Australia following throughout the year. People can support the GoFund Me campaign at bit.ly/3CrwVXP.

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