Leamington based illustrator presents book to fire crews

Lucy Bergonzi presenting a fire crew in Leamington with the book 'Belonging'. Photo provided by Warwickshire County Council.
Lucy Bergonzi presenting a fire crew in Leamington with the book 'Belonging'. Photo provided by Warwickshire County Council.

An illustrator based in Leamington recently presented fire crews with a book after they helped her with her research.

Lucy Bergonzi has presented Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service with a copy of a book called ‘Belonging’ for people with learning difficulties after fire crews from Leamington helped Lucy research the book’s illustrations.

The book 'Belonging'. Photo provided by Warwickshire County Council

The book 'Belonging'. Photo provided by Warwickshire County Council

Belonging is one of a series of titles produced by Beyond Words: an organisation providing books for people who don’t read, or who find pictures easier to understand than words.

The books address issues using pictures to tell a story and foster understanding.

Within the book, the characters encounter a fire which is attended to by the fire service.

To help research her illustrations, Lucy contacted Leamington fire station in August last year.

Firefighter Gary Smith invited Lucy in to show her the equipment firefighters would use in a real-life incident, including breathing apparatus and type of hose.

Lucy said: “I’m really excited to present Warwickshire Fire and Rescue with a copy of Belonging following their support in helping me research this book.

“As Belonging aims to tell a story in a realistic way, it’s important that the events depicted are as accurate as possible.

“I really want to thank Gary and the rest of the team for their help.”

Gary Smith, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service Firefighter, said: “We were more than happy to support Lucy in researching this book.

“Warwickshire Fire and Rescue is committed to supporting communities and making people safer in any way we can and we’re happy to help people learn more about what we do.”

Belonging took a total of eight months to complete and involved input from people with learning disabilities to ensure the content was correct.

The book was funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of London-based learning disabled theatre group Access All Areas’ MADHOUSE project, which explores and raises awareness of institutionalisation and the effects of isolation and confinement on people with learning disabilities.

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