A DRAMA and creative learning charity in the region has launched a new storytelling game online to help support children’s mental health.

Mortal Fools, based in Prudhoe, have created the new Melva Mapletree and the Quest for Barnabas Boggle storytelling game which is designed to help youngsters’ mental health and wellbeing following the coronavirus pandemic.

In partnership with Vida Creative, the award-winning charity launched the game in March with the hope of creating an entertaining and informative resource designed for children aged 7 to 11 where they’re able to understand, discuss and manage everyday worries they may face.

Since the game launched, more than 500 people have taken part, much to the delight of Kiz Crosbie, Mortal Fools’ chief executive and artistic director.

“We are so proud to have launched this fun and creative way for children to learn and talk about their worrits,” said Kiz.

“As a parent of an 11-year-old, I’ve been especially conscious of the impact of life changes, friendship challenges and a global pandemic can have on our small people.

“My daughter loves the Melva story, the characters and the game format; I hope many other families will find it fun and useful too.”

The game follows the story of 11-year-old Melva who has been dealing with anxiety – or ‘worrits’ as she calls them – with game players helping her find her best friend Barnabas Boggle, with it also following on from the Melva stage play which was designed for Key Stage 2 children, their teachers and families.

“We are delighted to be

supporting Mortal Fools in their Melva Online initiative, which will help young people to better understand their feelings

and emotions in a fun and engaging way,” added Cllr Guy

Renner-Thompson, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council.

Melva Mapletree & the Quest for Barnabas Boggle is available now for £9.99 per family (up to four users), with a school version available for £350 per school with additional resources.

Primary schools in Northumberland are also currently eligible for a 30 per cent discount on the price after support from both Public Health England and Northumberland County Council.

More information on the project can be found at www.melva.org.uk with the website also being the place to be able to play the game too.