The Duke of Cambridge has written a foreword for a children’s book which helps firefighters’ youngsters cope with their fears over the dangers their loved ones face.
The illustrated tale The Wolf Was Not Sleeping by Avril McDonald will be published on May 4, and can be ordered free from The Fire Fighters Charity by members of the UK’s fire services community.
It tells the story of a wolf cub who finds it hard to sleep because his dad is a firefighter.
William wrote: “This book is dedicated to you, the children of fire families and the grown-ups you love.
“It is here for you when you might be feeling scared or worried about them.
“Be proud of the important part your family plays in keeping us all safe from trouble or harm.”
The duke, who was an air ambulance pilot, has long campaigned for mental health support for emergency workers to be a priority.
He visited The Fire Fighters Charity’s centre in Chudleigh, Devon in 2019.
Dr Jill Tolfrey, the charity’s chief executive, said: “While children can often see the lifesaving work of firefighters as heroic – whether supporting someone on the phone from the control centre or at the scene of an accident or fire – it can be unsettling and worrying for those children whose family members are leaving home each day to face unknown dangers.
“This story, and the resources that accompany it, will help adults to share the pride they feel in their work with the young people in their lives, while also opening up conversations with them about the children’s worries and anxieties.”
The book contains a reference sheet and details of a dedicated website page with advice and question prompts for families to use as they read together.
The idea came from New Zealand firefighter and father Kris Kennett.
The Fire Fighters Charity has 20,000 copies available in English and Welsh to give away.
Further details can be found at www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/wolf.