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A North Tyneside woman is turning her personal battle with mental health into a literary tool to help others with a new book chronicling how unexpected tragedy and the onset of mental health issues almost led her to end her life, before turning things around to run a successful local social enterprise.

Gail Curry, aged 53 from North Shields has published Lines from an Unfinished Love Song, to chart her journey back to health from the depths of post traumatic stress disorder following a series of events that began with the tragic death of her wife Yelena in December 2013.

Gail is donating all proceeds from the sale of her book to local charity Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland.

Happy Planet Creative Arts is a social enterprise in Whitley Bay showcasing the works of artists from all over the region in a retail space dedicated to providing a platform for smaller creative businesses and individuals seeking to connect with customers. It also encourages others to embrace their creativity for the benefit of their well being with workshops run by Gail and other artists. 

North Tyneside Business Factory and TEDCO Business Support have assisted Gail in every step of her start-up journey, helping with business planning and offering one-to-one mentorship by assigning a personal business advisor to ensure the venture was successful.

Gail comments:  “Having the support of Janice Ross, my business advisor has been absolutely essential in keeping the business on an even keel.  I consider Janice to be a friend as well as mentor and she has worked on all aspects of Happy Planet with me, from the intricacies of running a retail business to reassuring me the business was on the right track at times when I really needed it.  Her input has been invaluable.”

“I take small steps everyday, each one of them taking me closer to my goal of loving my life again.  I hope that by reading the book other people who identify with the issues and struggles contained within it can come out the other side with the hope that a positive future and recovery can lie ahead.”

For further information on Happy Planet Creative Arts please visit www.happyplanetcreativearts.org.uk

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