A former teacher is using her life experiences to help children and their parents to deal with maths, self-confidence and goal-setting.

When Eleanor Baggaley received inspiration from two special people in her life, she didn’t realise that her journey was about to take her away from mainstream maths education to a life of self-employment, book writing and empowering children through her experiences.

But now Eleanor has one children’s book published and has two more in the pipeline, all three named after her own children, Maya, Oscar and Ava.

Originally from Warrington, Eleanor originally moved to the North East to attend university at Newcastle. Following a move to Scotland, Eleanor was involved in a motor accident which shook her confidence very badly. She suffered from months of anxiety as a result of the crash, which affected her life in every aspect.

Eleanor moved back to the region settling in the Tyne Valley. She became a maths teacher at a small comprehensive school where she worked with several children who struggled both academically and with their confidence. One child, who sadly died from a brain tumour, provided Eleanor with the motivation and inspiration to leave mainstream education and focus on helping children with their self-belief, positive mindset and confidence.

Eleanor said: “The car accident shook me up really badly and I struggled with anxiety for a long time afterwards. It was a tough time, but I didn’t give up. I just kept persevering because that’s what I’ve always done. I think that strength, combined with my later experiences of finding out my youngest child had Down’s Syndrome shortly after birth, has given me the push I need to make my new business venture really work.

As well as providing focused mathematics tuition, Eleanor specialises in intervention and self-belief coaching for children of school age. She provides a number of workshops for children who suffer from low self-confidence and are struggling in mainstream education.

Her first book, called Maya the Unicorn, is named after her nine-year-old daughter. The book focuses on self-belief and how children can set goals, identify their dreams and focus on their strengths.

“Maya is an incredible human being – she has her own business already and donates a percentage of her profits to two children’s charities because she shares my desire to help other people. We both donate money to CHUF and Down’s Syndrome NE on a regular basis because, after the birth of Ava, my youngest daughter, just four months ago, we have been on a journey to understand her diagnosis of Down’s and now we want to help other familiies in similar situations.

“For the book, which aims to help children bolster their self-confidence, I chose a unicorn because they’re mythical creatures and no-one really believes in them – it’s the perfect creature to feature in this book.

“The second book in the series in called Oscar the Dragon and is named after my six-year-old son. The third book is already in the pipeline and will be written for and about Ava, my baby.”