The striking Southampton Harbour Hotel was the venue for the official launch of the Hampshire edition of Sadsville on Thursday 28th March 2019.
The campaign to give a free copy of Sadsville to all Year 4 children across the UK has so far seen 6000 books go into primary schools in Bath & North East Somerset local education authority, followed by a a further 7500 across Greater Somerset . Thanks to the kind generosity of Excalibur Communications (www.excaliburcomms.co.uk) and Techs4Education (www.techs4education.co.uk) who have sponsored the Hampshire region, the Martin Roberts Foundation is pleased to begin the rollout across the county - it being the biggest challenge yet, with nearly 22,000 books going to over 430 schools.
The prestigious launch evening was attended by Head Teachers from primary schools across the county, representatives from the local education authority, Elaine Fox (Oxford Professor of Neuroscience) and John Cameron (Head of Childline). Both Elaine and John spoke about the important role that Sadsville can play in not only showing children how to deal with sadness but also opening up the dialogue about emotions in the home environment - something that Childline cites as a major reason for the increasing levels of depression, anxiety and low self esteem in our youth. In his talk, John explained that due to busy lifestyles and demands of the online world, in many homes families lack time to actually talk to one another - choosing to interact on tablets, phones and computers in preference to open dialogue.
Earlier that day, Martin was joined by the BBC South Today programme at Mason Moor Primary School where he read Sadsville to children prior to them getting their own copies of the book.
Schools in Hampshire will shortly be receiving a copy of Sadsville for every Year 4 child on roll along with a printed lesson plan to help teachers introduce the book and its message about feeling sad in the classroom. The Martin Roberts Foundation website also has teaching resources available to download for free.
The Martin Roberts Foundation is now seeking sponsorship to continue the rollout across other counties and regions within the UK. For more information about sponsorship packages, visit www.martinrobertsfoundation.org.uk.