A POWYS publishing firm and a Young Farmers Club have teamed up with a Welsh mental health charity to launch a series of children’s books exploring the themes of bereavement and mental health.

The launch of the ‘Dan Y Bont’ picture book series coincided with World Mental Health Day this week, which was held on Tuesday, October 10.

The Dan Y Bont series was created by the DPJ Foundation, a charity set up in 2016 and which aims to support specifically people working in the agricultural sector suffering from mental health issues.

It was established following the death of Pembrokeshire farmer Daniel Picton-Jones, whose suicide rocked the local community.


His wife Emma and charity manager Kate Miles collaborated with Builth Wells publishing firm Green Wellies, with the stories spun by Builth teacher Anwen Nicholls, while Pontfaen YFC members have this week been visiting schools in Brecon and Radnorshire to introduce the book series to pupils.

“Collaborating with the dedicated team at Green Wellies, our founder Emma and manager Kate worked closely with them to lay the foundation for these stories,” said a DPJ Foundation spokesperson.

“Anwen Nicholls and Kenneth Rees then skilfully crafted the words and illustrations to bring these ideas to life.

“The Dan Y Bont series revolves around the lives of three children in a small village, each of whom has experienced a different type of loss—whether it's the passing of a grandparent, the sudden loss of a sibling or the tragedy of a parent's suicide.

“These books approach these sensitive topics with great care and in a child-friendly manner, offering children explanations and suggestions for moving forward while reinforcing the message that it's okay not to feel okay during such difficult times.

“Emma's personal experiences with her own children following the loss of her husband, Daniel, served as a some inspiration for these books.

“We are proud to make these books available in both English and Welsh to ensure widespread accessibility.”

County Times:  Twm's Story is one of three tales in the series. Twm's Story is one of three tales in the series. (Image: Pontfaen YFC)

Sian Healey, Pontfaen YFC vice chair, added: “As a club we are extremely proud to help distribute the books and open the conversation around bereavement and mental health.

“From our illuminated charity tractor and 4x4 run in 2022, we raised £3,300 to support the book project, alongside the Welsh Government’s bereavement support fund.

“The charity have been able to create a collection of three books specifically tailored to primary-age children, aiming to provide them with much-needed support during difficult times.”

On World Mental Health Day, Pontfaen members Celyn Owens and Callum Williams delivered an assembly to primary school pupils and teachers in Sennybridge and Brecon, as well as secondary school pupils at Brecon High School. They also presented copies of the books.

On Wednesday, Sian visited Llanelwedd Church in Wales Primary School, just outside Builth, to introduce the books in a special school assembly, as well as presenting them to Builth Wells Primary School.