"I had a happy childhood, growing up by the sea with a loving and supportive family. All of that was turned upside down after a near-fatal car accident, which left me with a severe brain injury at age 11. 

"I experienced post-traumatic amnesia and had to start again, creatively piecing my childhood memories back together. I struggled to understand how to translate my feelings and develop relationships with my friends and family. At school, I had to learn to read and write again and was bullied because I was different.

I found my teenage years very difficult, struggling to find out who I was before the crash. It was full of confusion and I experienced severe depression. Although outwardly bubbly, I was full of hopelessness and attempted to take my own life more than once.

"Later I worked with children and, motivated by my own experiences, made a point of encouraging the children I worked with, celebrating their successes and re-affirming their achievements. I found I was helping children and families overcome issues which I understood so well. It was at this time that I began writing children’s picture books. 

"I was convinced that I had a role in highlighting the importance of positive thinking in children’s lives. Encouraged by my mum, I got in touch with The Prince’s Trust and I am so grateful I did.

Through the Enterprise programme, which helps unemployed young people start-up in business, I was matched with a Business Mentor, who helped me focus my energy and abilities on Silly Eric – my children’s picture book brand – which took off nicely.  

"The Prince’s Trust championed me just at the right time. As a charity, they have made me feel like family and have given me a solid platform to develop my Silly Eric brand in a focused professional manner. I’ve been filled with new hope and confidence that my work will help the lives of so many other children. It’s been a wonderful experience sharing my dreams with The Prince’s Trust and watching them become reality.

I now write children’s picture books, which share the message that you are loved just the way you are and that it doesn’t matter if we make mistakes, we are still worthy of love.

"Part of the proceeds from my books go towards helping provide clothing and food for street children. I run creative writing workshops and holiday camps that inspire children to ‘be the best they can be’and how to care for each other in community. I am also an inspirational speaker, talking to large groups of children and adults. 

"I am in the process of creating and fundraising for a programme to assist families with how to deal with the effects of brain injury and strategies to overcome them.

I believe you can become anything you want to be: dream big and treat others with kindness and you shall go far. Whatever barriers you face, there will always be a path for you. Never give up!