THE story of an intrepid teddy bear's adventures with the RAF is helping youngsters cope with bereavement.

The book "AB Gets His Wings" has been written by a bereaved father, Richard Bland, who teamed up with the RAF Valley based IV (Army Co-operation) Squadron, Royal Air Force to launch the new children’s book.

Richard's son Andrew committed suicide in 2013, at the age of 31. He left a wife and child, who were unaware of his personal problems.

Richard, an aviation enthusiast and friend of IV (AC) Squadron at Valley, decided to write the book "AB Gets His Wings" about the adventures of a teddy bear, who Richard had donated to the RAF, and which had been adopted as a charity mascot by the squadron.

The story follows the bear's adventures, and is helping to raise funds for RAF charities and bereavement counselling charity the Dove Service.

Some of the teddy's adventures to date include flying in an RAF Hawk aircraft, flying with the Royal Australian Air Force, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and running the London Marathon with Officer Commanding IV (AC) Squadron, Wing Commander Rob Caine.

Richard said; “When our son committed suicide, we looked for counselling and found the Dove Service.

"After several sessions with them I decided to donate the bear and all the photos documenting his adventures for auction to raise funds.

"We then had the idea to write a book, so we could start teaching children about mental health and well-being”.

Wing Commander Caine said: “Richard has been a superb friend to the squadron over many years and helped us with charity work and major functions.

"After the tragic loss of his son, he started trying to raise awareness of mental health, suicide and the amazing work of the Dove Service.

"This has resulted in the new book, which is full of flying adventure but will also help children better understand feelings, emotions and how to deal with anxiety or fear.”

AB Gets His Wings, with illustrations by Rosie Philpott, is published by on August 12, 2019. It being launched at RAF Valley.