13-year-old Jack Berry from Sunderland is an aviation fanatic and has drawn planes creating a truly inspirational and informative book in aid of military charities including SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Jack has severe autism, depression, anxiety and is selectively mute. In July, Jack started drawing planes to help distract and focus during the pandemic.

Sara Berry, Jack’s mum said: “Drawing is great outlet for him to express what he is thinking and feeling. The drawings gave us time together.”

The book features pilots with snippets about their experience of flying accompanied by Jack’s wonderful illustrations.

Part of the proceeds of this book will go to SSAFA’s Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF); a tri-service group for current serving families or individuals who have a child or adult dependent with an additional need and/or disability ensuring forces families with additional needs and disabilities receive the support they need.

Sara Berry, Jack’s mum said: “We don’t have a military connection but because of Jack’s love of the military, we wanted to help families like ours in the armed forces. It must be really really hard to be in the armed forces, to be away when your child has additional needs and know that your partner is looking after them 24/7.”

“Even though Jack can’t join up in the future, I feel that the RAF and the services have opened their arms and accepted Jack for who he is. I think that’s really important.”

Sir Andrew Gregory, SSAFA Controller said: “I commend Jack for how he speaks to us all through his art; his talent allows us to celebrate that courage and that service.” 

Jack’s book, Flying High in the Sunlit Silence, is available from Amazon.

If you have a service child with additional needs and you need support, visit www.ssafa.org.uk/get-help/disability-support/additional-needs-and-disability-support

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