A WINCHESTER Rotarian has penned a new book in her mission to raise money for young carers.

Diana Brooks, a member of Winchester Rotary Club, has launched a story for children coined A Cat Called Smokey.

Aimed at youngsters aged between three and seven years old, the book is hoped to raise funds for Winchester and District Carers, with around 110 young carers in the area.

Diana said: “These age seven to 18-year-olds often care for a family member, or maybe a friend who needs help because of illness, frailty, disability, mental health issues or an addiction and who cannot cope without the support of their young carer. The care they give is unpaid.

“These selfless young people often lack sleep due to anxiety about those they are caring for, they cannot concentrate in class, get behind with their homework and miss out on leisure activities their friends enjoy; their childhood is passing them by. They lack so much that most of us took for granted when we were young: freedom, time to make friendships, schooling and further education.”

A Cat Called Smokey is the story of a young, handsome black cat who is brave and talented. He climbs high into trees, plays his mistress’s piano and looks after stray cats in his neighbourhood.

He longs for a special pussycat girlfriend. Sometimes, when other cats see he is disabled with only 3 legs instead of four, they turn up their noses, arch their backs and wave their tails in an unkind, mocking way. Smokey is very sad; tears splash onto his beautiful whiskers. One day he meets a most lovely, silver grey Siamese cat.

“Most of the proceeds will go to our Winchester and District Young Carers. We so wish to give these selfless, courageous young people a day out at Harry Potter World. We will also give a donation to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals,” Diana added.

The book showcases hand-drawn illustrations from Allen Edwards, who is also a member of Winchester Rotary.