LAST Christmas, Pamela Brookshaw turned her childhood diary into a book, hoping to raise money for a good cause by showing readers what life was like growing up on a farm in the ’70s.

Now, three months later – following rave reviews – sales of her book have made more than £1,000 for a homeless charity.

“It feels really good – I was nervous at first, but I had good feedback and reviews,” Mrs Brookshaw, who lives in Chepstow, said.

Her 1979 diary chronicled the life of her 11-year-old self in Abertillery.

Free Press Series: Pamela Brookshaw as a child on her family's farm in Abertillery. Picture: courtesy of Pamela BrookshawPamela Brookshaw as a child on her family's farm in Abertillery. Picture: courtesy of Pamela Brookshaw

Mrs Brookshaw rediscovered the diary a few years ago, and began publishing the occasional extract on social media. But when interest in her tales grew and she found her Facebook friends clamouring for more, Mrs Brookshaw decided to publish her diary and donate the profits to a good cause – homeless charity The Wallich.

A recent letter to Mrs Brookshaw from the charity read: “Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of My Diary 1979. Your generosity will provide warmth, security and hope for the future [to] some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Mrs Brookshaw – who published the book under the name Pamela Jayne – has so far raised £1,069 for The Wallich, but that is likely to increase in the coming months when the charity starts up its online bookshop. And last week a further £250 was raised through sales of the diary to a private developer, who is putting complimentary copies into new apartments.

Free Press Series: One of Elizabeth Baker-Bartlett's illustration's from My Diary 1979.One of Elizabeth Baker-Bartlett's illustration's from My Diary 1979.

She said she had been overwhelmed by the support from her readers.

“People have been messaging me saying how much they enjoyed it – even people I don’t know,” she said. “One lady had no idea her name would appear in the diary. She said it had made her day.”

On Amazon, readers have left five-star reviews, calling the diary “a little gem” and a “brilliant read”.

Mrs Brookshaw said her mum and sister had also helped selling the book directly, and the diary’s illustrator – Elizabeth Baker-Bartlett – had been selling them from a gallery in Abertillery.

My Diary 1979 is available to buy on Amazon and in bookshops.