A NEW collection of children's stories aimed at raising money for a hospital charity has been launched in Helensburgh.
All proceeds from Michael Angus's book, The Pointless Rose, will go to the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity, which supports the work of the city's Royal Hospital for Children.
The book was written for, and in memory of, Michael's son Christopher, who died aged six in 2014 following a long battle against complex heart rate and heart rhythm problems caused by a rare genetic mutation.
Saturday's launch event was attended by Michael's wife Angela, 11-year-old daughter Katie – who produced all the illustrations and photographs in the book – and family and friends from the local area and far beyond.
Michael said: “This book was Christopher's book. My first book, The Beautiful Cat, was written with, and for, Katie, and Christopher then asked 'where's mine?'.
“Most of the book was written after Christohper died.
“There will be a third book – 'The Good Hoover' – and loosely I thought the themes for each would be faith, hope and charity.
“It would have been very easy to write these stories as stories of hopelessness, but actually they all end happily, so they're all stories of hope.”
Among those present at the Victoria Halls were some of Michael's colleagues and students from the University of Strathclyde, where he works as a senior teaching fellow in the department of architecture.
“The original intention was to write stories about architecture,” Michael continued, “but I then wondered if there could be stories about architecture for children.”
The launch event also included readings by storyteller Alice Fernbank of two stories from the book – one called The Sacred Store, about a store in a small town which harbours a secret desire to transform its identity, and another called The Boy Who Changed The World, about a small boy whose magic pencil and flair for drawing and designing buildings changes the face of towns and cities across the globe.
Additionally the event featured speeches from Aileen McConnell, community campaigns manager with the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity, and Dr Karen McLeod, Christopher's consultant, who also oversees the Christopher Angus Fund, set up by the family in Christopher's memory.
Dr McLeod explained that the money donated to the Christopher Angus Fund so far - £14,000 and counting as a result of Michael's fund-raising efforts, including walks in the Arctic and along the West Highland Way and the Great Wall of China – has been used to buy almost a hundred new Alivecor heart monitors.
“Those monitors have transformed our approach to diagnosing heart rhythm problems in children,” Dr McLeod said.
“It's a real honour and a privilege to be here to talk about the Christopher Angus Fund – and it was a real honour and privilege to be involved in Christopher's care.”
Saturday's event added more than £1,400 to the Christopher Angus Fund through sales of the book, which is also available to buy online via Amazon.
* Check out the Advertiser's Facebook page for a video clip of Aileen McConnell's speech at Saturday's launch event.