A MAN from Skipton who worked as a food-parcel delivery driver during the pandemic is about to have an a-first-of-a-kind book published about his experiences.

Stu Hennigan, 43, who attended Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton as a child, started delivering food parcels to deprived areas in Leeds when his role at Leeds City Library wasn’t needed as Covid restrictions were introduced.

However, on his delivery rounds, Stu, says his “eyes were opened to just how bad food poverty is,” and he felt he needed to document his experiences to give people a voice.”

“I went to one area in Morley, and a little girl who was about the same age as my kids came running out because I had a bag of food, and asked is that all for us, and when I said yes, she started dancing like I was father Christmas just because I’d brought food to the house. I did shed a tear when I got back to the car.”

The book, called Ghost Signs: Poverty and the Pandemic, gives Stu’s eyewitness account of some of the poorest communities and includes national statistics and news reports alongside his own experiences.

It has been compared to George Orwell’s novel, A Road to Wigan Pier which gives an into the lives lived in poverty and deprivation in a time of low wages and meagre government support in the 1930’s.

He said: “Yes the news reports give people an idea of what’s going on, but what’s missing from the news is the human element. People can just turn the telly off when they don’t want to hear it, but seeing it first-hand does have an impact and you really see what people are going through. It definitely was a shock to see how some people have to live.”

Stu said he has always loved writing ever since primary school, and has written books before but never managed to get them published, so it “will feel surreal to see his books on the shelf and at work at the library.”

He said: “I’ve always known that I’ll have a book published, I just didn’t know when. I sent off books before and never got anywhere so it’s really exciting.”

The book has been published by an award-winning publisher, Blue Moose based in Hebden Bridge, and will be available to purchase from bookshops and online in June.