Melanie C from The Spice Girls is narrating a trailer for Bernie and Boatie, an illustrated children’s book, written by Natalie Reeves Billing, to support adventurer Bernie Hollywood’s gruelling 3000-mile solo row across the Atlantic for #BoatofHope.

Bernie and Boatie has been printed by Welshpool Printing Group (WPG Ltd) thanks to a new working collaboration with TeamAuthorUK.

In Liverpool Business News, Melanie C, says: “I’m really excited to be supporting Bernie and the Boat of Hope team in this inspiring initiative. As both a passionate advocate for raising awareness of mental health issues and a mum myself, the motivation behind the Boat of Hope campaign really chimes with me.”

This enchanting book aims to highlight young people and children’s mental health, which suffered hugely throughout the long lockdowns that were enforced on communities due to the pandemic.

Bernie and Boatie will also be produced as an audiobook and an animated trailer, for which Melanie has donated her time to narrate and which Doctor Who star Sacha Dhawan will conclude. The trailer will also feature an original soundtrack by composer Ben Hughes.

With someone to talk to, you are never alone

Adventurer Bernie Hollywood OBE, is to spend up to three months at sea to publicise the book and its core message:

“So, remember, though you may feel miles from home,

With someone to talk to, you’re never alone.”

Bernie is hoping to raise more than £1m for charities, including the Samaritans, along the way.

Bernie said:”We aim to use this #bookofhope to promote health and well-being throughout all schools in the UK and aim to broadcast its message to the world.

“I’m going to have my boat wrapped with a mural of a thousand people on one side and a thousand on the other and when I’m down I will look around and see all the people who are helping me along on my journey. I aim to be the first Scouser to have rowed the Atlantic!”

Bernie and Boatie, beautifully illustrated by Lisa Williams, will be launched on Tuesday, October 12, to coincide with an unveiling ceremony for the #BoatofHope at the @GreenwichMaritimeMuseum, Greenwich, London and a prestigious Liverpool launch on the same day.

The Samaritans are needed now more than ever

The Samaritans receives around 10,000 calls a day from people seeking help. Families being locked down in the pandemic brought many previously hidden mental health problems to the surface for people of all ages.

Julie Bentley, Chief Executive Officer for the Samaritans, said: “We know that we are needed now more than ever. Since the pandemic began, our volunteers have spent over one million hours responding to calls for help.

“Young people have been affected by loss of coping mechanisms, lack of peer contact, negativity and uncertainty about future work and education and worsening mental wellbeing.

Inspiring Journey

“We are so grateful for Bernie’s support as he takes on the incredible challenge of rowing solo across the Atlantic. Bernie and Boatie is a hugely powerful way to tell the story of this inspiring journey and bring hope to people.”

Author, Natalie, is the Early Years and Primary ambassador for the #BoatofHope project, so will be co-ordinating with schools and organisations to reach as many young children as possible.

She said: “My mission is to narrow the education gap that has been worsened by COVID and help all children access a quality education. I want to show little ones that through creativity and storytelling, we can really find out who we are and what we want to be in in life and develop a lifelong love of learning and reading.”

Bernie Hollywood is an advocate of the United Nations, New York City and is one of the world’s most accomplished adventurers, having reached the Geographic Poles, climbed some of the world’s highest mountains, trekked unsupported through deserts, and has completed over 150 marathons.

He has chosen the Samaritans & the British Rowing charity, LOVE Rowing, as the two charities he wishes to support.

He can reach a huge global audience, which will raise awareness of their work and a significant amount of funds to help both charities continue their work into the future.

You can follow Bernie’s preparation and build up to the event in December 2022 by following his regular blog posts and through the usual social media channels.

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