A FISHY story raising money for a new, specialist, palliative care unit in Christchurch made a big splash with Bournemouth schoolchildren.

Year two pupils at Talbot Heath in Rothesay Road, were told the tale of Big Bob and Sunny’s Journey by its author Beej Sharp.

Aunty Beej, as she is known, is a long-term supporter of Macmillan Caring Locally and is donating all proceeds from the book to the charity’s Brick by Brick appeal which aims to replace the outdated, 44-year-old Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital with a state-of-the-art, specialist, palliative care unit.

Aunty Beej said: “I started writing poems and short stories for my nephews and nieces when they were little and just love to see children’s faces when they are enthralled by a really good adventure.

“My sister, Lin Sharp, is the Capital Appeal Director for Macmillan Caring Locally and, while the charity has already raised £5m towards building the new unit, it still needs to raise a further £6m. When Lin suggested I put pen to paper to help, I started writing straight away.”

Big Bob and Sunny’s Journey was inspired by Aunty Beej’s real-life friend, Big Bob, a "big softie" who loves fish and always sits by the pond when he has his first cup of tea of the day.

The book has been illustrated for free by artist, Julie Goodman, whose mum is a volunteer at the Macmillan Unit, designed by RLA and printed by Palm Print in Bournemouth for free, so every penny will go to the appeal.

Big Bob and Sunny’s Journey priced £4.99, can be ordered online at macmillanlocal.org