"Every day I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the sacrifices made by our Military and First Responders. I've known more than a few of these capable and courageous professionals who have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of their work. PTSD and Operational Stress Injuries can be both devastating and debilitating for the individual, which understandably impacts all members of the family. I am grateful to Fay Maddison and the Natasha's Wood Foundation for creating much-needed awareness and support for the children of our Military and First Responders. Our precious youth deserve nothing less."
Vaughn Solomon Schofield
Province of Saskatchewan
Honouray Patron - Natasha's Wood Foundation
- About Fay Maddison
- About Natasha's Wood Foundation
- Watch Global TV Interview with Fay Maddison about her initative following the Parliament Hill Shooting on October 22, 2014
Fay grew up in the tiny town of Darwin, Australia.
Although she struggled to read and write from a very early age, Fay sought out books, and turned and turned the pages. Every book held a mystery, great journeys were waiting to be discovered – magical places were waiting to be found! Finally, the language, the story on the page made sense!
"Reading and writing stories felt like I had landed on a comfortable old couch – with an old friend, a place of peace. The touch, the smell of books always enticed me."
“There was a great tree in my life as a child…”
Searching for relief from the hot burning sun, a young Fay found solace and joy of reading at the roots of a very large tree in her family’s garden. But even here Fay wasn’t alone. “Giant insects would crawl, fly, scurry by on their way to somewhere that I could only imagine to be wonderful; a secret garden perhaps?
When Fay was twelve she was introduced to the wonderful world of a small, neighbourhood theatre. “I loved this small theatre. This is where I found my voice…This is where I truly found my passion of reading, faced some of my fears, and understood how the ARTS can help build self-confidence!”
After surviving a horrific cyclone that devastated their tiny town on Christmas Eve, 1974, Fay saw her most favourite old warrior tree of protection, uprooted and destroyed. The secret garden had been ravaged. “Weeks later, our town was cleaned up and protected by many First Responders. I will never forget how hard they worked. They had left their families – to come and help us.”
In the novels of Natasha’s Wood, Natasha and Fern find a magical portal in the dark basement of their local theatre, where all the costumes of the past are stored many treasures are waiting to be discovered. They uncover a magnificent and very large painting of a fox and a fairy.
Stepping through the tapestry-like image, they find themselves transported into the land of magic; Natasha’s Wood. They soon find out that this forest is steeped in legend. Bursting with colorful plants, lost labyrinths that hold secrets from the past, pirates treasure, old maps, and beaches that take up what the world had parted with – the flotsam and jetsam. Yes, even here on this island far, far, away – hidden in time, the tide brings in new treasures and leaves them on the sandy beaches and tidal pools for little fingers to pick through.
It is no surprise that all these elements of Fay’s early childhood years have come magically together into an amazing adventure story, full of passion, in her first novel “Natasha’s Wood and the Lost Element”.
Adapted from the characters found in the young adult novel, written by Fay Maddison, comes a collection of early reader picture books which Fay is gifting to First Responder family’s children.
The unsung heroes – our children! Children in military families and indeed all First Responder families are often relocated many times during their formative school years. Some move to new locations across Canada every year. These children must adjust many times, new schools, finding new friends - fitting in within a new community - searching for continuity in their lives can often be very challenging. They are aware that their parent/s are frequently absent for long periods of time, weeks and months - and are usually engaged in diverse situations that can be extremely dangerous.
The Natasha’s Wood Foundation is honored to present a series of early reader picture books, that for the first time, gently acknowledge these children’s lives. Each of these unique books represents a magical, fun character that will take us on a journey as they “relocate” - move throughout their world. They will face many unknowns, help others to face their fears through dance and movement, and learn how to make new friends.
Posted: February 11, 2015