A Carlisle children's author will be spreading mental health awareness among young minds next week with the help of her beloved characters, the 'Flamingo Friends'. 

With nearly two decades of experience as a nursery nurse, Rebecca Tyson crafted her first children's book to help support children's mental health and well-being in the wake of the pandemic. 

Flamingo Flockdown, which was released in 2022, revolves around a special group of flamingo friends who navigate their feelings, work through worries, and highlight the importance of mutual support through a difficult time. 

Next week, during Children's Mental Health Week, Rebecca and her characters will be visiting a different school and nursery each day engaging students in activities tailored to the theme of self-expression, including discussions on online safety for older kids - with help from graphic designer Andrew Convery who has helped develop worksheets and activities for the pupils. 

News and Star: Flamingo soft toys ready to be introduced to the childrenFlamingo soft toys ready to be introduced to the children (Image: Rebecca Tyson)

"This year's mental health theme is My Voice Matters, expressing yourself and how we're all different. 

"It relates so much to the flamingo characters, they're all different, and communicate in different ways each with different personalities. The children respond to that very well, as do the teachers.

"Sometimes I'm wary about my original story as it is about the lockdown and we've moved on but it's such an important part of history.

"The 'Flamingo' friendships that were made, how we all helped each other - there's a lot we can take from it," Rebecca said. 

The mother-of-three, who has also recently obtained her mental health first aid certificate, will be bringing her characters to life at Langwathby Day Nursery, Caldew Lea Primary, Petteril Bank School, Blennerhasset School and Noman Street Primary School. 

News and Star: Snippet from Flamingo Flockdown Snippet from Flamingo Flockdown (Image: Plus 3k)

Any money that will be raised during the week will be going to the children's mental health charity, Place2Be. 

Looking ahead, Rebecca hinted at another tale in the works, which will give a nod to characters from the original book. 

"It's been incredible what I've been able to do from that original story. I'm proud of how the little characters can help children when they meet them. It is really lovely. 

"I'm really excited about getting the next one published. It'll be a reflection on our lives on how we need to take a breather when it's called for," she said.