A BARMAID wants to help children cope with bullying and bereavement through her imagination.

Widnes gran Doreen Hands has created a series of characters to tackle their fears.

She is now looking for an illustrator as she would love to get her stories published.

Mum-of-three Doreen, aged 55, of Brooklands Park, said: “I want to help children realise they are not on heir own and help them understand issues they may be going through.”

She created the stories when her two sons, John, aged 32, and Stephen, aged 30, were small boys.

Doreen, a former Boots shop assistant, said: “I used to tell them stories about snails when they were going to bed.

“They loved it. I don’t know why these stories just popped back into my head. I have such a vivid imagination.”

Her three tales are set in Snailsbury.

The first follows young snail, Tom, who is bullied for being smaller than his classmates. He befriends Harry, a snail with a a giant shell. With the help of their teachers, they make other snails realise that everyone is different.

Bridgette, the beatle and Miss Huggle, the centipede, who can do 100 things at once, are in her other two tales which feature the death of a parent and living in a single parent family.

Former Fairfield pupil, Doreen, said: “I would love to see them all put together in one book.

“I’d like to think my stories could help simplify things for children. They could be used in schools and children’s homes.”

Doreen, who has four grandchildren, works at the Slow and Easy pub in Lockstock, where her daughter Jenny, aged 26, is landlady.

Anyone who could provide illustrations or help Doreen get her stories published can contact her on 07542 874769.