Young patients from Birmingham Children’s Hospital who inspired a new story book, are set to meet again with the author and artist at the city’s Selfridges store which will soon stock the fundraising publication.

‘The Unstoppable Maggie McGee’ tells the story of Maggie and her best friend Sol as they use their imaginations to escape the confines of the hospital to go on adventures.

Author Juliet Clare Bell from Moseley (known as Clare), and Coventry-based illustrator Dave Gray, will be appearing at Selfridges to meet with some of the youngsters and their families who contributed with ideas to the fundraising book for a special VIP store launch event next month (April).

Families shopping in the store will then also have the chance to enjoy live story readings by the author and also be taught to create some of the stunning imagery which appear in the book with the help of Dave, when the pair visit on Wednesday, 6th April.

Clare, a mother-of-three, came up with the ideas of the story by visiting poorly children in the hospital. With their help she was able to create the inspiring story, which will be raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Magnolia House Appeal.

She said: “The ideas that have come from the children have ranged from the fantastical to the really personal, relating to their own experiences in hospital. Having a mixture has given me plenty to work with and I’m really looking forward to sharing with the children what they helped create.”

The book is the brainchild of Wesleyan, the Birmingham-based financial mutual, as part of its campaign to raise £750,000 for the appeal. It has been entirely funded and published by the company, meaning every penny of the cover price goes to the charity.

In turn, Selfridges Birmingham have been the first major outlet to agree to stock and sell the book for free, along with hosting the author event, so many more people can buy and enjoy it.

Adam Hockney, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said they were looking forward to welcoming Clare and Dave to the store, along with the inspirational and brave children, so they can see the finished book on sale to the public.

We were so moved when we were approached by Wesleyan who asked us if we would be able to help by selling the book that we knew we could help in our own way. It is so beautifully written and illustrated, that we know the book will be a fundraising success. We cannot wait to welcome everyone to the store for the official launch,” he added.

Liz McKenzie, Wesleyan’s chief operating officer said: “This book has been our biggest fundraising project ever. Clare and Dave have done a fantastic job in bringing the children’s ideas to life and have created something  children will enjoy reading themselves and being read to them.”

Louise McCathie, director of fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital added: “To have a children’s book written, illustrated and published specifically for us, with a story that was inspired by our children and the surroundings of our hospital is something very special and we can’t wait for people to read it.”

‘The Unstoppable Maggie McGee’ will be in store from Wednesday, 6th April and shoppers will be able to meet the author and illustrator from 12.30pm. Free illustration activities will take place throughout the day, with readings taking place at 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.

For more details, visit www.selfridges.com

PR by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham

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