Northampton woman's short story empowers children to be bigger than coronavirus

Child therapist Sophie Marsh has written a story that's taken the world by storm

By Carly Roberts
Monday, 23rd March 2020, 6:30 am
Therapist, Sophie, has based the main character on her nephew, William, who is 3.
Therapist, Sophie, has based the main character on her nephew, William, who is 3.

When Sophie Marsh from Wootton sat down to write a story on Wednesday night she did not anticipate that within two days she would have made such an impact.

Within less than a week, she’s had offers to translate her tale into many different languages and have an Austrailian theatre company reach out to children all over the world to tell her story.

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

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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, 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.

When the 28-year-old had to stop seeing the children she was working with last week she realised she wanted to write a comforting tale and share it with them and her colleagues.

So far, the story, which has taken inspiration from Sophie's three-year-old nephew, William, has had more than 2,000 shares on Sophie's Facebook page, Sophie's Stories."I wanted to publish it before the schools were closed on Friday and it's been shared thousands of times," Sophie said. "I thought of the idea on Wednesday afternoon and it was written by that evening.

"I would normally take much longer, giving myself time to edit and reflect on it, but I felt I had to get it out as soon as I could to help teachers and therapists who would still be in school this week explain to their kids. I am so glad I did.

"I posted it at 9pm at night and it just keeps growing. It's been amazing, I have been crying over responses on the post."

Sophie's primary school-aged tale is also being translated into Mandarin, Latvian and Italian, and she is hoping to get an illustrator on board to help her publish hard copies.

On Friday she was also approached by an Austrailian theatre company who want to turn William's story into a special project, which will see children all over the world speaking a line of the story while dressed as superheroes, which will be collated into a video to share.

"People have been telling me how it's empowered children to think they are superheroes," she added.

"I think there are a lot of children feeling scared if they can't do anything and feeling weak, unsure and uncertain and I really wanted to find a way to explain they are powerful and they can do something about it.."