A Bournemouth mum who created a series of safety books for children after her own toddler saved her life has been nominated for a top award.
The police officer from Talbot Village has been shortlisted for Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2014 for her Izzie & Ollie books, named after children Isabelle, seven, and Oliver, six.
Joanne Keeling, 39, who works for Hampshire Constabulary, came up with the idea for the books after collapsing at home from an allergic reaction to latex when a piece of rubber from Isabelle’s clothes was exposed.
She collapsed before she had enough time to grab her Epi-pen, a shot of adrenaline administered in emergency situations, but managed to tell Isabelle, then just two, to get the phone because “Mummy is poorly”.
The next thing she knew, her toddler was speaking to the emergency services and asking for help, having learnt how to dial 999 from children’s TV show The Tweenies. Joanne went on to write a book teaching children how to make emergency calls and has written several sequels warning youngsters about other dangers they may face.
She is now hoping to win the £5,000 prize money to invest in more books, as well as a child safety animation.
Joanne said: “I’m very excited to be a part of Britain’s Top Real Role Model. I hope that if I win the competition I will be able to work on getting my second book published and teaching more children about safety and procedure in emergency situations.”
Britain’s Top Real Role Model is run by the direct-selling company Amway UK. The competition’s focus this year is Women in Enterprise.