Writer raises funds for the son of a fallen hero

Worcester News: SPIDER-FRIENDLY: Author Dr Jane McGee proves that arachnids are not all that bad. SPIDER-FRIENDLY: Author Dr Jane McGee proves that arachnids are not all that bad.

A TEACHER will be raising cash for the son of an Afghan hero she taught by donating money from sales of her spider-friendly book.

Cobweb Capers, by Dr Jane McGee, launches this week with royalties from online sales to be donated to the charities Help for Hugo, set up to help the baby son of Captain Rupert Bowers, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012, and Winston’s Wish, which provides bereavement support to children.

Capt Bowers was taught by Dr McGee when he attended Old Swinford Hospital School, Stourbridge, and as his former teachers and school friends rallied to raise money for his son through a charity bike ride, the psychology teacher found her own way to contribute.

“Rupert was a valuable part of the school community – polite and positive – and his paramount interest was going in the Army,” said Dr McGee, who lives in Northwick, Worcester.

“Coincidentally, my cousin Colonel Richard Westley was Rupert’s commanding officer at Sandhurst “Shortly after I wrote the first story, friends and ex-school mates of Rupert Bowers gave an extremely moving talk in an assembly. It was especially poignant for me and other staff who had taught Rupert.

“His friends were organising a charity bike ride to raise money for a trust fund for his son Hugo and asked staff for support.

“The school really got behind the event and organised all sorts of charity fund-raising ventures. I decided that I could support the charity by donating my royalties from the story downloads.”

Dr McGee started the book in the hopes of alleviating children’s fear of the eight-legged creatures.

“By writing this compilation of short stories for five to seven-year-olds, I hope it will help children develop a more positive view of spiders and inspire an interest in nature,” she added.

The book, which contains activities as well as the stories, follows the antics of five spiders that live in a garden shed. Cobweb Capers costs £1.99 for the e-book and £4.99 for the paperback.

Publisher Alfie Dog Fiction already carries some of Dr McGee’s stories online at alfiedog.com. The collection is available from Amazon and other booksellers.

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