A NORTHALLERTON granddad has helped raise almost £1,000 from sales of a children’s picture book.

When Richard Martin retired, his daughter, Alex, challenged him to complete a number of tasks including writing a children’s story.

During second lockdown, Richard wrote the story about a hippopotamus who was not happy with his appearance, and then gave it to Alex to illustrate. They were so pleased with the outcome that they got a few copies printed for family and friends.

“Alex then asked me if we could get more printed and donate any profits from sales to a colleague of hers who was suffering from a rare, aggressive cancer,” said Richard.

Alex continued: “My friend, Gav Plowman, received the devastating news about his cancer just 12 weeks after the birth of his second daughter. He took the brave decision to refuse chemotherapy as he wanted to spend quality time with his family. He decided to use alternative therapies to achieve this, but they are not available on the NHS.”

The second print run of The Very Unhappy Hippo virtually sold out in the two weeks before Christmas and that enabled Richard and Alex to give Gav an impressive £947 towards his treatment. A third print run is now available with profits being split between Gav and his chosen charity, the Rainbow Trust, which supports families with a seriously ill child.

“I am so grateful to Richard and Alex,” said Gav. “This is a very generous gesture that is making a real difference to my life.”

Copies of the book, selling at £6.50 plus £2 post and packaging, can be obtained through Richard Martin at unhappyhippo2020@gmail.com or at Stevenson Forecourts, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton; Bishopton Road, Stockton or Boroughbridge Road, Northallerton.