Bargain Hunt and best–loved authors rally to aid Bristol children

November 01 2016

BRISTOL hospital charity, Above & Beyond, launched a children’s anthology, Don’t Be Scared, to raise funds for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

above and beyond

BRISTOL hospital charity, Above & Beyond, launched a children’s anthology, Don’t Be Scared, to raise funds for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

With the support of over thirty of our best authors and illustrators, the new book is dedicated to all the children and families cared for at the hospital.

Published by Redcliffe Press, the limited edition children’s book is a collection of short stories and poems by some of the best-loved Children’s Laureates of the 20th and 21st centuries, including; Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Anne Fine, Geraldine McCaughrean, Quentin Blake and Carol Ann Duffy. 

Filled with tales of thunder claps and walking chalk, dark nights, dare-devil sheep and huffy cats, the book shares the magic and fears of childhood for children and grown-ups to enjoy. Some are fables, some adventures, some are wickedly funny; all of them fizz with imagination and a child’s sense of wonder. 

Award-winning contributor Geraldine McCaughrean, who read an extract from her story ‘Sidecar’ at the launch, spoke about why she decided to get involved with the project:

“There are times when we just need to get out of ourselves – when we’re ill, when we’re miserable, when we’re stuck in one place for too long… Reading is one way.  Open the cover of a book and it’s like opening a door on to a bigger world full of possibilities.  So what better than to fill a book with a heap of different stories and pictures that transport you somewhere else and cheer you up?  

“Above & Beyond is all about making people feel better: brightening the sky, pruning problems, planting some cheerfulness and generally making everything in the garden rosier.  Write a story for them?  Who wouldn’t?”

The book was launched at Bristol Royal Infirmary with the support of hospital staff, charity fundraisers, former patients and BBC One Bargain Hunt presenter Thomas Plant, who led an auction of original illustrations. A cartoon of ‘Sidecar’ drawn by Little Princess illustrator, Tony Ross, sold for a magnificent £280 on the night. 

Don’t Be Scared was the brainchild of author and former Above & Beyond Trustee, Caro Ness, who wanted to create something extra special for the patients and staff of the children’s hospital.

On the night, Bryony Strachan, Clinical Chair for Women’s and Children’s Services said: "My childhood memories are full of the wonderful stories that my father read to me, and that I read under the covers at night with my torch.  It is lovely to see such creative stories together in one book, to inspire the next generations’ imaginations.”

Don’t Be Scared is available to buy online from Redcliffe Press at   or at the Above & Beyond Fundraising Hub inside Bristol Royal Infirmary (next to Marks & Spencer). All profits will be donated to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.