Upminster police sergeant and writer tours Romford schools with The Uncuddibles children's books series
PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 27 August 2019
An Upminster police sergeant has been visiting Romford schools to share the stories of his superhero teddy bears with pupils.
RJ Thompson is the writer and illustrator of The Uncuddibles, a series about abandoned teddy bears who use their special gifts to help others.
The Thurrock police sergeant who lives in Upminster, has been visiting schools and libraries to provide creative workshops for young people.
"The kids absolutely love the creative workshops," he said.
"As soon as I bring in all the cuddly bears, they're in awe.
"It was a real eye-opener for me to see the reaction of the children.
"The children love it when I'm teaching them how to draw or how to design their own bear."
Mr Thompson has visited around 36 schools in the past year.
At St Edward's Church of England Academy in London Road, Romford, Mr Thompson was particularly surprised by the enthusiasm of parents and pupils.
You may also want to watch:
He told the Recorder: "It's quite bizarre getting recognised. At the last Romford school I was gobsmacked.
"I wasn't planning on doing any book signings but then the headteacher asked if I could set up a table outside.
"The queue for book signings ended up going outside and all around the back of the school."
The children's writer struggles with mental health issues and described writing The Uncuddibles as therapeutic.
He said: "It's a massive problem for me at the moment.
"Creating the books is the only time where I go into a zone where I'm completely relaxed.
"There are so many of my colleagues (police) who have stress issues.
"Fortunately policing is so up to date with knowledge about [mental health] that it's no longer a stigma."
Mr Thompson has published six books in The Uncuddibles series with 14 more planned titles to come.
RJ Thompson will be at a book signing event at WHSmith in lakeside on Saturday, August 31, from noon to 2pm.