In a bid to develop their team-working and time management skills, the seven ‘Step up to Work’ students based in Llangefni worked closely with author and illustrator David Donaghy to plan the storyline, develop the characters, and write the story.
Titled ‘The Christmas Rescue’ the festive story follows the adventure of panic-stricken elves on Christmas Eve whilst Santa has broken his leg, and they try to find the one Elf - who is on holiday - that can drive Santa’s Sleigh.
The students and Step up to Work staff feature in the book as the elves, their characters relate to their actual personalities, and to the targets set to the students by their tutor.
Published by Blurb Books, ‘The Christmas Rescue’ is now in the National Library in London, and has been copyrighted. The book is also available to buy online for £7.99, here.
Amber Foster-Williams, one of the students who worked on the book, said,
“I have always loved reading and writing my own stories. Now that I was involved in a book that has actually been published, it's like my dream has come true!”
“I am very grateful to David Donaghy for giving us the opportunity to work on it.”
Tracey Lynne Locke, Step up to Work tutor at Coleg Menai, said,
“As a group we really enjoyed working on this project. The students had a fantastic experience writing the story. It was a unique opportunity that will leave a lasting memory for years to come. John (LSA) and myself appreciate all the hard work that David put into the project.”
David Donaghy, said,
“Having met the students on a Zoom meeting, I recalled my lack of guidance, when I first embarked on my career as an author. I also remembered how difficult it was getting on the first rung of the ladder. As a result, I decided to offer the students a challenge. To push themselves, to stretch boundaries and to achieve something, many just dream about.
They certainly did not let me down, they faced the challenge, working together, they forwarded their script to me. I was thrilled to read it.
Working as a team, myself, Tracey, John and the students, we produced a piece of work that they could all be proud of. When the project was complete, I couldn’t have been more proud of each and every one of them.
It was an honour for me to have been involved in ‘The Christmas Rescue’ and that experience and memory of the students will remain with me forever”