Meeting Elizabeth...

On a beautifully crisp, sunny autumn afternoon at the beginning of October last year, Elizabeth went with her mother, Natalia, to The Cheltenham Children’s Literature Festival to watch my Archie rhino show after school. This picture shows us after the show, I am holding the little Archie rhino puppet who is wearing the tee-shirt Elizabeth designed and made for him.

One of the things I love most about being a children’s writer is seeing the happiness my characters bring to children. Elizabeth was full of smiles, it was a magical afternoon. The Festival organiser, Jane Churchill, had arranged for the show to be performed in what looked like a beautiful circus tent, and the sight of dozens of chatty children making little tee-shirts for their puppets reinforced just why I write. Elizabeth, like the other children, loved all the pom-poms, glitter and sparkles, and all the bright rainbow colours in the tent and on the craft tables. That afternoon precious memories were made. Memories that would last a lifetime.  

But life can be tragically short. And just two months later, Elizabeth died. Now her little Archie is safely tucked away; one of her mother’s special memories of happy days with Elizabeth.

Natalia says how Elizabeth filled her days with colour, and fun, and finding out. She tells how her daughter loved being out-and-about having wonderful adventures.

Please – if you can – support Natalia in any way that you can as she walks around the coastline of Britain, keeping the memory of Elizabeth alive and trying to raise precious funds for The Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity; Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal.

It was a joy to meet Elizabeth that sunny afternoon last autumn, and to meet her mother too – a brave, strong and immensely kind-hearted lady…

You can support Natalia at: