Friday 21 May 2021


Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity...

Emily says:

The Cathy Cassidy book SAMI'S SILVER LINING opened my eyes to the extreme danger that unaccompanied child refugees experience in order to find a safe home. The book was so tense and exciting I could not put it down! I couldn't wait to tell my mum about Sami's story and both of us started to cry at what he had been through. My mum was so hooked on the story she read to the end to see what happened to Sami and his friends.

Over half term, Mum and I came up with the idea of decorating cards with Hama beads and selling them for £1, with all the money going to SAFE PASSAGE, which is a charity helping child refugees. We came up with several designs, including animals like flamingoes and unicorns and other things like flowers, sunglasses and melons! My brother Tom helped with the cards, and we came up with slogans like 'Mum, you're one in a melon' for Mother's Day and also simple things like 'Stay cool on your birthday,' and 'Thank you!' 

We have now made almost 200 cards and raised £215 so far - some people have been very generous and given more than £1! My teacher and our classroom assistant bought cards and donated money, which was great. Our school has the ethos 'Together' and we are encouraged to think of others, so I guess this fitted perfectly with that. One of my mum's friends kindly bought us some more Hama beads on Ebay so now we have a big supply to make even more. 

I've also been growing my hair with the plan to donate it to the Princess Trust. who make wigs for children and young people experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatment, and last week it was finally long enough for the chop, so I thought I'd send a picture of that too! I hope Cathy's book will inspire more kids to start raising money for SAFE PASSAGE and also to realise how lucky they are to have the safety of a home and family.

Cathy says:

Wow... Emily's story is so lovely it made me feel really emotional - and very proud of her kindness and determination to help others. Have YOU ever been inspired to help others? I'd love to hear your stories!

Sunday 17 January 2021


We asked which things you'd like to leave behind in a post-lockdown world and which you'd like to hang onto... your answers were inspiring!

Ellie Anne says: I'd like to keep on writing my journal, and hold on to the peace and quiet a lockdown bringsI'm looking forward to going to live music events again and dancing, and I'd like to let go of the fear of boarding a plane or ship and worry about crossing the border...

Hayley says: I'd like to keep the slow weekend pace of life... but bring back hugging those we love!

Deanna says: Drawing and writing have been my most important ways to stay creative during the pandemic, and those things will still be important to me once all of this is over!

Helen says: I'd be happy to keep hold of social distancing in shops and public places - I hate feeling crowded. By contrast, I look forward to being able to hug friends and family again!

Sara says: I've discovered some unexpected new interests... gardening and running are two things I never thought I'd bother with! I feel more connected with myself and the world around me, and I would like to hang onto that feeling even after the pandemic.

Michelle says: I'd like to keep hold of the two metre distancing rules from strangers in public!

Simran says: Can we please keep quieter roads, less traffic and less pollution? And also kindness to others and keeping to the rules in order to help keep others safe. We can learn a lot from lockdown about community and caring for others.

Sam says: I've fallen in love with a rescue kitten and have been inspired to write and illustrate a book about her - I plan to hang on to this new creativity! I really miss my daughter, her partner and my granddaughter... bring back hugs!

Marilyne says: I am writing a long list of all the things I want to do with my family once this is all over. Life will go on, and I don't want to waste a minute of it! 

Laila says: Let's remember once this is over that it is PEOPLE and not things that matter, and that nature can help us when times are tough, and that the most important workers in our country are not politicians or celebs or royalty, but NHS and shop assistants and delivery drivers and teachers. We help each other when things get tough... let's keep on helping each other.

Artwork by reader Christabel.

Cathy says: Wow... some fascinating thoughts here... and we're pretty unanimous when it comes to the power of hugs! What have YOU learned from lockdown to carry forward for a better future? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...