In 1999 when the Ragdoll Foundation was established it was agreed that The Jean Russell Gift would be continued in perpetuity as one of the activities of the Ragdoll Foundation.
Many children with special needs who cannot for some reason play as actively as other children, often find a special joy in reading. For some years Ragdoll Productions has made a gift of books to such children in memory of Jean Russell, who with Ragdoll's Founder Anne Wood, co-edited the magazine Books for Your Children, which Anne published for 30 years.
A Gift of books has been given in Jean's name each year since 1984. From 1984 - 1995 it was administered through the Books For Your Children magazine, but from June 1995, when the magazine celebrated it's 30th Anniversary Books For Your Children was absorbed into a new magazine called Ragdoll, and the Gift was administered through that publication.
Jean Russell spent many months in hospital as a child and books were, for her, a special source of imaginative freedom. During Jean's life, despite, or perhaps because of her disability, she gave unstintingly of her love and her time in bringing children and good books together. She knew how much stories could mean to children in moments of pain and stress as well as in shared moments within a loving family situation. Many of us talk - Jean did things - she never let her disability get in the way, which is why Ragdoll Ltd and now the Ragdoll Foundation continues to make a practical gift of books annually in Jean's memory to children and their families.