Northampton woman sees her popular story helping children to understand coronavirus now told in British Sign Language

When Sophie Marsh from Wootton sat down to write a short story last month to help the children she works with get to grips with Covid-19 she did not anticipate that her superhero tale would capture the hearts of so many families
Child therapist, Sophie, has based the main character on her young nephew, William.Child therapist, Sophie, has based the main character on her young nephew, William.
Child therapist, Sophie, has based the main character on her young nephew, William.

'The Stay At Home Superheroes', which was published to Facebook in March, is the story of how stay-at-home children are made to feel empowered to battle the coronavirus.

Sophie, who has been a child therapist and counsellor for three years, started to write short, bespoke stories to help the children she works with understand bigger problems and get through difficult times.

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When the 28-year-old had to stop seeing the children she was working with she realised she wanted to write a comforting tale and share it with them and her colleagues on Sophie's Facebook page, Sophie's Stories.

So far, the story, which has taken inspiration from Sophie's three-year-old nephew, William, has now been produced in an e-book format and can be read for free online, or a pay-as-you-feel donation can be given to Service Six charity.

More than 20,000 people have been reading the tale with brand new illustrations by Catherine Battle and a video has also been made by a group of actors who have signed the story in British Sign Language.

"It's still so surreal", Sophie added. "It does not really dawn on me fully until someone tells me how much it has helped their child.

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"I never expected it to reach as far as it has. Once I saw the shares going up and the messages coming in I was really determined to get it out and I thought it must be really helping people.

"It's amazing for me and so wonderful to see British Sign Language and illustrations. Everyone is just so willing to do things for free and considering the fact people are struggling financially people are still wanting to help, which is really nice."

The story focuses on William, who is worried and confused about the questions grown ups are asking and why his dad has stopped going to work and taking him swimming.

After his mum explains to William that all new superheroes need to use their stay-at-home powers to make the outside problem smaller - he is set to task fighting coronavirus safely indoors.

Sophie's primary school-aged tale has been translated into many different languages and she is hoping to publish the story next in print.