An author from Lewisham has written a remarkable new children's book and vowed to donate the proceeds to foodbanks in the area amid a surge in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Miss Kelly's Blasted Berry Battle tells the story of garden fruits come alive and (eventually) putting aside their differences to cooperate for the good of the garden.

Author Ruth Thomas-Cole, who also teaches special needs children in South East London, told News Shopper she hoped sales from the book would provide an additional lifeline to foodbanks in South London who like those all over the country have seen a massive spike in the number of people relying on their support during Covid.

"I've enjoyed writing since primary school but never had the confidence to do it before. But with Covid and everything that's going on with the pandemic and with free school meals and so on I just wanted to raise some money for local foodbanks. Now is the time to do it.

"After it was finished I contacted foodbanks in the area to see if they would be receptive to the idea and they were," she said.

All profits from the book will be donated to foodbanks in Lewisham, Southwark, Greenwich, Croydon and Bromley.

The story is about a kindly lady called Miss Kelly who tries to befriend a reclusive old man next door, while in her garden the berries come to life and compete to be the boss in the territory.

"In both cases it's about them learning to live and work together," Ruth, who penned the first draft of the story after a dream she had one night, said.

The Lewisham author said her decision to use the proceeds of the book for foodbanks was informed by her own experiences growing up as well as the current situation.

"I grew up with food poverty, financial insecurity, so constantly moving because my Dad was a single father who was widowed at 33 with three children.

"We struggled a lot and that was my purpose. I wanted to help because I know what it's like," Ruth said.

So far she's sold over 100 books and hopes to raise plenty more money with future sales besides.

Foodbanks are currently experiencing an unprecedented demand from increasing numbers of users according to the Trussel Trust that coordinates centres across the UK.

Miss Kelly's Blasted Berry Battle is available on the Camberwell Arts website and amazon.

Click here for more details.