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SSAFA

Support autistic aviation artist reach milestone of 5,000 books sold in aid of Armed Forces Charities

14-year-old Jack Berry from Sunderland is an aviation fanatic and has drawn planes creating a truly inspirational and informative book in aid of military charities including SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Jack has severe autism, depression, anxiety and is selectively mute. In July, Jack started drawing planes to help distract and focus during the pandemic.

He has now sold an amazing 4,200 books and is at the final push to reach 5,000. The book features pilots with snippets about their experience of flying accompanied by Jack’s wonderful illustrations.

Sara Berry, Jack’s mum said:

“Drawing is great outlet for him to express what he is thinking and feeling. The drawings 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 dependent with an additional need and/or disability ensuring Forces families with additional needs and disabilities receive the support they need. 

Sara Berry, Jack’s mum said:

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 Jack for who he is. I think that is really important.”

Brain West, SSAFA Durham Branch Secretary said:

“Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Jack at his home to collect a cheque as the first donation from the sale of his book “Flying High in the Sunlit Silence”. This has now been passed to SSAFA’s Fundraising Team in London, who will ensure that the donations from Jack’s book are given to SSAFA’S service, Families with Additional Needs and Disabilities Forum (FANDF.)”

Sir Andrew Gregory, SSAFA Controller said:

I commend Jack for how he speaks to us all through his art; his talent allows us to celebrate that courage and that service.”

You can purchase Jack’s book for just under £10 here: Flying High In the Sunlight Silence

If you are in the Armed Forces and have a child with additional needs and you need support, please reach out here: https://www.ssafa.org.uk/get-help/disability-support/additional-needs-and-disability-support 

 

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