NWSPCA Children’s Book Raises Over €3000 To Help Animals In Need

Caroline Kidd, Author of While You Were Sleeping

A children’s book featuring the animals of the North Wexford SPCA has raised over €3000 for the charity in its first year of sale. Another print run of the book has been commissioned to meet demand in the run up to Christmas.

Written by Caroline Kidd, Wexford writer and journalist, and illustrated by Petra Curtis, While You Were Sleeping features a cast of shelter cats and dogs as they embark upon one night of adventure at Gorey’s NWSPCA animal welfare centre.

“Launching my first book in a pandemic was challenging,” says author Caroline. “But with the help of family, friends, and the wonderful fundraising team at the NWSPCA, we managed to get the book out to our fans, and nobody was left disappointed!”

This beautiful book is aimed at 6–9 year olds and aims to engage children with the work of the NWSPCA.

“The book has been a hit with young readers, but adults love it too! I’ve been really touched by the love and support While You Were Sleeping has received in its first year,” says Caroline.

Inspired by Caroline’s experience as a volunteer with the NWSPCA, the heart-warming story is brought to life through full colour illustrations and the antics of a few familiar characters.

“Our beautiful Tom and Charlotte, who were beloved residents and mascots for the charity, are lead characters in the story and While You Were Sleeping is a great tribute to them,” says Caroline. “The timeless quality of the story means that my book will continue to find its way to young readers for years to come, keeping Tom and Charlotte’s memory alive while raising valuable funds for the NWSPCA.”

The NWSPCA animal welfare charity was established in Gorey in 1947 and is managed by a team of volunteers who rescue and rehome hundreds of cats and dogs every year. All proceeds from the sale of While You Were Sleeping go to the NWSPCA to help save more animals at risk. The book was created at no cost to the charity.

Rebecca Coen, Fundraising Manager, North Wexford SPCA, said: “The huge success of the initial run of While You Were Sleeping was a lovely surprise and a tribute to the creativity and hard work of Caroline and Petra. The NWSPCA have had a busy 2021 with many cats and dogs needing our help regardless of the pandemic and sometimes in spite of it. Funds raised from the sales of While You Were Sleeping ensured that we could continue to help these cats and dogs. Our Handsome Tom and Beautiful Charlotte would wholeheartedly approve.”

While You Were Sleeping is on sale for €10 from the NWSPCA Charity Shop, Rafter Street, Gorey. It’s also available to buy online through the NWSPCA Facebook page.


While You Were Sleeping Now Available In Wexford Libraries!

While You Were Sleeping is now available from Wexford Libraries, including Gorey Library, Enniscorthy Library, Wexford Library, New Ross Library, Bunclody Library and Mobile Services.

Launched on 20th October 2020, While You Were Sleeping was written to raise money for the North Wexford NWSPCA, with all proceeds from the sale of the book going to the charity to help save more animals at risk.

Based in Gorey, Co. Wexford, the NWSPCA is managed by a group of volunteers and helps hundreds of animals every year.

While You Were Sleeping is set in the NWSPCA shelter in Gorey and follows the cats and dogs over one night of adventure led by resident cat Tom ‘The Boss’! It’s suitable for a reading age of 6 to 9 but can be enjoyed by adults too!

Thanks to Wexford Libraries for supporting my book and I’m delighted the book is now available to be read by many.

Caroline Kidd

FASTER Project Focus Groups

In June I worked with the FASTER Project team to help steer three focus groups as part of this €6.4 million EU INTERREG VA funded programme to install 73 new publicly accessible rapid charging points across Western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Border Region in the Republic of Ireland to support drivers as they make the switch to electric vehicles.

Each focus group was delivered virtually for project partners and stakeholders across the three partner regions. I shared my experience with electric vehicles, my views on the challenges to widespread uptake of EVs, and the opportunities for better communication and engagement with the public on electric vehicles, before chairing a group discussion to help form a communications strategy for the project.

Led by East Border Region Ltd in partnership with organisations including South West College and Ulster University, Louth County Council and Dundalk IT, the FASTER Project is currently working with several county councils along the border to identify suitable locations for charge points, which will be installed on a rolling basis over the next 6 to 18 months.

While it’s estimated that up to 80% of EV charging will take place at home, the number of public EV chargers is widely regarded as one of the key obstacles for those drivers considering the switch to electric. The FASTER Project will deliver effective solutions to help overcome this barrier and will educate drivers on electric vehicles and the benefits they can bring.

Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), which manages the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, said:

“As the effects of climate change increase dramatically we need to invest seriously in measures which will cut carbon emissions. Electric vehicles represent a more eco-friendly form of transport which will have a reduced impact on the environment.

This new EU-funded project has been specifically designed to remove some of the obstacles that have previously discouraged people from choosing electric vehicles. It also represents one of the core objectives of the INTERREG VA Programme, which supports sustainable transport, on a cross-border basis.”

Caroline Kidd

While You Were Sleeping by Caroline Kidd

A new children’s book has been launched to raise money for the North Wexford Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NWSPCA) and goes on sale today (20th October).

Called While You Were Sleeping, the book is set in the NWSPCA animal welfare centre in Gorey, Co. Wexford, and aims to engage children with the work of the charity and spread a message of the value of being kind to animals.

The book has been written by Caroline Kidd and illustrated by Petra Curtis. While You Were Sleeping is a charming tale of fun and friendship, featuring a familiar cast of cats and dogs, led by long-standing resident cat Tom ‘The Boss’, as they embark upon an unexpected adventure.

The story was inspired by author Caroline’s experience as an animal care volunteer with the charity. Caroline, who comes from Bunclody, is also a journalist, copywriter and the editor of the online motoring magazine Changing Lanes. While You Were Sleeping is her first book for children and combines her love of animals with a passion for storytelling.

Caroline teamed up with Petra Curtis, a graphic designer, illustrator and fellow animal lover, who runs The Design Nut graphic design studio in Glenmore, Co. Kilkenny, to get the book ready for publishing. Petra designed and illustrated the entire book, bringing the magical story alive through original, full colour, hand drawn illustrations.

Speaking about the launch of the new book, Caroline said: “I’m thrilled to be using my writing skills to tell the story of the animals at the NWSPCA animal welfare centre and raise money for a wonderful charity close to my heart that helps save hundreds of animals at risk every year through a team of hard working volunteers. I’m hopeful that this book will inspire the next generation of animal carers and spread a message to young people that it is cool to be kind to animals in our community and in our care.”

For illustrator Petra, the project was a dream come true: “When Caroline first mentioned her plan for creating a children’s book for the NWSPCA, I immediately wanted to help in some way. Animals have played a big part in my life and it has always been a dream of mine to illustrate a children’s book. All this combined with the fact that it was for such a wonderful cause – I couldn’t resist the project!”

She continued: “On first reading Caroline’s draft of the book, I was taken in by the wonderful personalities of the characters, the energy of the story and the morals hidden in many places throughout the story itself. Caroline has done a wonderful job of capturing the spirited nature of animals, and I think children will be fascinated by the story from the very beginning.”

Eimear McGrath, Chairperson, NWSPCA, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with Caroline’s new book. The idea of our animal shelter being featured in a children’s book is something we didn’t imagine happening. To see the end result and read about our beloved Tom (The Boss), is a joy to behold. We are delighted that our story is being told in such a beautifully worded and illustrated book as this. Caroline has been a wonderful volunteer with us for quite a while and we can’t thank her enough for creating this book and allowing it to be a fundraiser for the NWSPCA.”

The NWSPCA animal welfare charity was established in Gorey in 1947 and is managed by a team of volunteers who work all year round to rescue, rehabilitate and home as many animals as possible. All proceeds from the sale of the new children’s book will go to the NWSPCA to help save more animals at risk and the book has been created with no cost to the charity.

“I’m very grateful for the support I received from Petra who kindly illustrated this book and I wish to thank all of our stockists for helping us to sell our book. The response so far has been amazing,” said Caroline.

While You Were Sleeping will be on sale from the NWSPCA Charity Shop, Rafter Street, Gorey; Kavanagh’s Newsagents, Wexford Road, Arklow; Deegan’s, South Street, New Ross; The Village at Wheelocks, Finchogue, Enniscorthy; and Art Bank, Bunclody. Please check opening hours in light of Government guidance relating to the management of Covid-19. It’s also available to buy online through the NWSPCA Facebook page.




Electric Vehicle Summit 2020

I’m pleased to announce that I have been invited to chair the Electric Vehicle Summit 2020. As a motoring journalist and the editor of Changing Lanes, I’m looking forward to this day of discussion on the future of electric vehicles in Ireland.

The event will take place on October 15 with tickets available now for this virtual event.

The Electric Vehicle Summit is a premier, established conference and exhibition that is normally held in Croke Park annually. This year, to adapt to the current environment and the growing demand for delegates to enjoy the conference experience online, the Summit will be streamed virtually.

Speakers at this year’s event include Christina Bu, Head of the Norsk elbilforening (Norwegian EV Association), Colin McKerracher, Head of Advanced Transport, Bloomberg, Joachim Brandt, Head of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, Gemserv, Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Raj Lyons Chohan, Founder, EV Energy, Elena Wrelton, Environmental Compliance Manager, ELVES, and Anne Graham, Chief Executive, National Transport Authority.

The event will be broadcast live from a dedicated studio in Dublin, with delegates joining in from the comfort of their home or office across Ireland and around the world. Many of our speakers and panellists will appear live on stage, while international keynotes and participants will join via video conference.

Delegates will have the opportunity to step into the unique virtual summit environment, which includes access to the main virtual conference stage for the full day, live speaker and panel Q&A sessions, a virtual exhibition hall, copies of presentations and content post-event, as well as the opportunity to network, connect and chat with fellow online attendees, speakers and partners in real time.

In 2019 there was no shortage of positive news stories for electric vehicles here in Ireland, from the government’s new plan for a million electric cars by 2030 to the arrival of several new models on our shores. Despite the global health crisis, there are encouraging signs for the industry. Global electric car sales could reach a record share of the overall car market this year. Analyst, BloombergNEF predicts that there will be less of a hit than the anticipated fall in sales of conventional cars, increasing the penetration of electric models into the overall market.

This year’s conference will address the impact of Coronavirus, deliver an update on new government policy, as well as cover a wide range of subjects pertinent to the industry going forward. The summit is a high-level business forum based on the dual themes of business engagement and thought leadership from the most senior, influential and informed people in the sector. This innovative event is about making the most of the opportunities presented by EVs, creating partnerships, ensuring stakeholder collaboration and implementing business models to facilitate further adoption into the market.

To view our evolving agenda and book your ticket. click here.

By Caroline Kidd

Caroline Joins The Freestyle Sessions

This autumn I’m happy to announce that I will be joining the Freestyle Sessions Series 2 as an expert panellist.

Hosted by Gemma O’Halloran, founder and projects director of Freestyle Consulting, the Freestyle Sessions is a 15-week online, interactive programme dedicated to helping you create an authentic and compelling brand.

Series 2 will focus on building a power brand. Each session will feature a guest speaker who will focus on a particular area of branding or brand science. My session will take place on 5th November and will focus on the power of words in telling your brand story.

When building your brand, it’s crucial to have cohesive, consistent brand language to connect with customers and bring your brand to life. I will be showing our participants how to identify your authentic brand voice, develop consistent brand messaging, and communicate your brand story in words through the right channels and formats.

When you finish the session, you will have a better understanding of the value of a consistent brand voice and how to figure out the words and tone to convey your brand more clearly to your ideal customers!

Find out more about the Freestyle Sessions here.

By Caroline Kidd

Introducing Copywriting by Changing Lanes!

In summer 2020 I launched Copywriting by Changing Lanes, a new suite of specialist copywriting services with a particular focus on retail and automotive businesses.

Having worked as a freelance commercial copywriter for 6 years, the next step for me was to incorporate my writing services into Changing Lanes! My portfolio is diverse with clients across industry, manufacturing, online retail, fine dining, nutrition, wellness, hospitality, heritage, architecture, finance, legal, and of course my beloved automotive! I’m so grateful to all my clients and collaborators, who I have learnt so much from. Now I’m excited to be merging my copywriting services with my Changing Lanes brand.

At Copywriting by Changing Lanes, we help our clients to improve their online presence, make their business stand out and reach more customers with engaging, informative copy that is perfectly optimised for the web. Our editorial and creative copywriting services include SEO-optimised website copy, unique product descriptions, expert editorial and article writing, top quality blog content, new website launch press releases, goal-oriented topic research and strategic content consultancy.

I understand the online environment and what it takes for a business to succeed because I have done it all with Changing Lanes. Over 6 years I’ve learnt how to optimise content to improve search engine performance, write the best headlines for online media, perform keyword research to gauge public interest in topics, interview subjects to initiate the best illumination and connection with audiences, create consistent high quality content, build and engage online communities, and much more!

I’m grateful to receive the support of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Wexford to grow my business and the help of my wonderful mentor Mags Boland Murphy, who guided me behind the scenes to make these changes to my brand. It’s really exciting to be taking this step forward with Changing Lanes and my new spin-off copywriting services. I hope to reach more people and help them to achieve their business goals through creative, strategic content that connects with their ideal customers.

Find out more here and please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your project!

By Caroline Kidd

My Story

Caroline Kidd Changing Lanes in the Mazda MX-5

I’ve always been in love with the automobile. I was the kid who knew every car brand and model.

But I never grew up wanting to be a motoring journalist. For sure I read all the magazines but I never thought that motoring writing was a career open to me.

Fast forward some years and I’ve just left college after studying for a Masters in Journalism. I’m very confused about what to do next with my life.

Somewhere amid the confusion of my mid-twenties I stumble upon motoring journalism, realise I might have a talent for it, and the rest as they say is history. 

Now I’m the founder and editor of Changing Lanes, one of Ireland’s best car blogs. I’ve driven more cars than I can remember (triple digits now). I’ve written hundreds of car reviews, features and news stories. I’ve been published in some leading newspapers and on influential international websites.

I’ve bumbled around the Frankfurt Motor Show and the Paris Motor Show on a press pass. I’ve travelled to the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Germany and Greece to test drive new cars. I’ve made more than a handful of car videos. I’ve built up a loyal following of car fans across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

I know my ABS from my ESP, and I know a good car from a bad car. The best car I ever tested was the Ford Focus RS. It just made me feel so alive.

The worst car? That’s another story…

Would you like to see where this story goes? Head over to my website Changing Lanes to keep up to date with my journey in auto.

By Caroline Kidd