Grandchildren, dog and countryside walks inspire former Sudbury firefighter's children's book for charity
A veteran firefighter has drawn inspiration from his grandchildren to leave a lasting legacy with new children’s books, while supporting a charity close to his heart.
Dave Collins, Suffolk’s former deputy chief fire officer, will launch his first children’s short story at the Party in the Park in Sudbury next month, with work on a second book also at an advanced stage.
Titled Henry, Oliver, Buster and Gregorious – The Beginning, the story was written under the pen name William Joshua – the names of Dave’s dad and son – and illustrated by a fellow ex-firefighter.
Influenced by his own grand-kids, his dog and local sights such as Great Cornard’s Bluebell Wood, Dave is aiming to raise funds for the Firefighters Charity, by donating 10 per cent of the proceeds.
The 55-year-old spent 30 years working as a firefighter, 25 of which were in Suffolk, including multiple stints at Sudbury Fire Station.
“My grandchildren are around eight and four years old, so I wanted to find a way to give them something that would stay around long after I have gone,” he told Suffolk News.
“The idea evolved from there. I had the fantastic opportunity to have a career in the fire service, but I wanted to do something different when I finished.
“I knew I’d be out of my comfort zone, and there would be a lot to learn, but it has been really fun.
“Because I started out by writing this for my grandchildren, I haven’t gone in with any expectations, so if I can sell a few books, make people are happy and raise some money for charity, that’s fantastic.
“I think the Firefighters Charity is brilliant, because it offers so much. They do a lot of preventative work and help firefighters with their recovery from physical or mental injury. They are so important to the fire service.”
Printed by Lavenham Press, the book will launch at Belle Vue Park on July 17, although copies will be available two days earlier at Prudent Nellie in Friars Street.