A wide selection of authors are banding together behind the ‘Get in Character’ campaign from CLIC Sargent. Get in Character is a unique seven-day eBay auction from Sunday 25 February to Sunday 4 March which gives readers the chance to have a character named after them, win signed books and signed illustrations.
Over 50 authors are taking part this year in the campaign which has raised almost £35,000 for the charity since it began in 2014. Character names up for grabs are from internationally acclaimed thriller writer Peter James, Scottish author Chris Brookmyre (author of Black Widow), and popular crime writer Elly Griffiths. The campaign also offers one lucky applicant the chance to win a signed War Horse book from family favorite Michael Morpurgo, along with a live experience in London.
Signed books are also available from Graham Norton, Ian Rankin, Clare Balding, Charlie Higson and Lee Child as well as signed one-off illustrations from Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo).
Supporting young lives
Peter James, said: “I’m delighted to take part in CLIC Sargent’s Get in Character campaign once again. Get in Character is a fantastic way to help a vital charity to support young lives in their fight against cancer.”
“I’m thrilled to be able to offer the name of a character in a future Detective Superintendent Roy Grace book to help CLIC Sargent in its mission to stop cancer destroying young lives.”
The ‘C’ word
Book-mad eight-year-old, Beth Atkinson, from Kent, and her family are also backing the campaign, to give something back to the charity that supported them following a shock cancer diagnosis. Beth was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia aged 5 in 2015 after her parents noticed she was uncharacteristically tired, pale and had night sweats.
During Beth’s treatment, the family were supported by a CLIC Sargent Social Worker Lucy Hill who was there every step of the way to provide them with financial, emotional and practical support. Lucy helped them with grants to pay for the mounting costs, and gave the family and place to stay in CLIC Sargent’s Home From Home in Southampton where they were able to stay for free to be close to Beth during her treatment.
Beth’s Dad Peter, 34, said: “Being so far away from home was hard but the Home from Home gave us the peace of mind knowing we had a room that was only 2 or 3 minutes’ walk from Beth’s bed. It was a space away from the hospital where we could release and let go of our frustrations.”
Beth also loves reading and found the CLIC Sargent storybook ‘Joe has leukaemia’ a big help, which was written especially for parents and carers to read with children to help them understand what cancer is and the treatment it involves.
Beth’s Mum Helen, 32, said “Beth has always had a passion for reading and this has really helped her through her treatment. With ‘Joe has Leukaemia’, Beth could read it and understand it and she could ask us questions from it, which helped all of us to come to terms with what had happened and what lay ahead.”
Beth 8 said: “I love reading and learning about all the different characters, the places that they go to and the things that they do. Harry Potter is my favourite at the moment but I like reading The Gruffalo to my little sister too.”
Thankfully, Beth recently finished treatment after 26 months of chemotherapy, coincidentally on the same day as her 8th birthday, and so had a double celebration surrounded by her family and friends.
“I want to repay some of the support that CLIC Sargent has given to us. They gave us stability whilst everything else was unstable, particularly in those first few darkest weeks. I want to help make sure they can help as many other families as possible, and that’s why we’re asking everyone to back CLIC Sargent’s Get in Character campaign”
Truly unique opportunity
Rachel Kirby-Rider, Director of Income and Engagement at CLIC Sargent, said: “It’s amazing to have the support of so many famous authors and illustrators for our 2018 ‘Get in Character’ campaign. Their generosity means we can offer book fans a truly unique opportunity to bid to be part of their favourite author’s future book whilst also raising vital funds for children and young people with cancer. All the bids and the money raised will mean that, with our support, even more young people thrive not just survive after their cancer diagnosis.”
For the chance to have your name in one of your favourite books visit the Get in Character auction between Sunday 25 February and Sunday 4 March.