Our storyteller, Michael, first met Henry at Gloucester Royal Hospital in 2015 – and they instantly hit if off creating wild and wonderful stories together. Henry had a life-limiting condition which meant he spent much of his short life in hospitals, and our books and storytellers cheered him up no end.
One of our funders, Children in Need, heard about what a difference our stories made to Henry, and they were very keen to meet him in person. Henry being Henry immediately captured their hearts, so much so that they asked if Henry would feature in the South West’s Children in Need television appeal. His appearance on Points West as Readathon’s Ambassador became a viral hit as he took over the show from presenter Alex Lovell in his own inimitable style!
Despite his illness, Henry took his Ambassador role very seriously – and ensured people around him knew all about Readathon and the work that we do. He even took the time to Skype a local school taking part in a sponsored read to thank them all in person for the difference they were making to children in hospital. The pupils at Cameley Primary were so excited to talk to a real-life TV star!
Henry’s impact continues beyond his death, for example with the Everyman Theatre choosing Readathon as its charity partner for their pantomime. As a result, more schools in Gloucestershire than ever before are getting involved with our sponsored read with pupils across the county wanting to raise money to help more children in hospital just like Henry.
Henry continues to inspire us everyday, as well as thousands of schoolchildren and teachers across Gloucestershire, to get reading and get raising. Thank you, Henry.