Thumbs up for fundraiser and aviation artist Jack’s new book
Aviation fanatic Jack Berry, 14, from Sunderland has collected his plane drawings in a truly inspirational and informative book, which aims to raise funds for military charities …
Last July, Jack – who has severe autism, depression, anxiety and is selectively mute – started drawing planes as a distraction and to help him focus during the pandemic. Now gathered into a new book, Flying High in the Sunlit Silence, Jack’s wonderful illustrations feature planes and pilots, alongside snippets of information about their experience of flying. Says Jack’s mum Sara: ‘Drawing is a great outlet for Jack to express what he is thinking and feeling. The drawings also gave us time together.’
Part of the proceeds of this book will go to SSAFA’s Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF), a tri-Service group for current serving families or individuals who have a child or adult dependant with an additional need and/or disability, ensuring Forces families with additional needs and disabilities receive the support they need.
Sara continues: ‘We do not have a military connection, but because of Jack’s love of the military, we wanted to help families like ours in the Armed Forces. It must be really, really hard to be in the Armed Forces, to be away when your child has additional needs and know that your partner is looking after them 24/7.
‘Even though Jack can’t join up in the future, I feel that the RAF and the Services have opened their arms and accepted him for who he is. I think that is really important.’
SSAFA chief executive, Sir Andrew Gregory, says: ‘I commend Jack for how he speaks to us all through his art; his talent allows us to celebrate that courage and that service.’
Buy your copy
Jack’s book was published on his birthday, 25 January. If you would like to support SSAFA’s FANDF and other military charities, you can purchase a copy here.
If you are in the Armed Forces, have a child with additional needs and are in need of support, please click here to reach out.