The Jean Russell Gift, was initiated in 1984, to celebrate Jean’s memory it began as an annual gift of books to a nominated child and their family. Many children with special needs who cannot for some reason play as actively as other children, often find a special joy in reading. From 1984 – 1995 it was administered through the Books For Your Children magazine, but from June 1995, when the magazine celebrated its 30th Anniversary Books For Your Children was absorbed into a new magazine called Ragdoll, and the Gift was administered through that publication.
Today, the JFG is one of the Foundation’s legacy projects and is currently delivered in partnership with the Federation of Children’s Book Groups as a new initiative – The Jean Russell Storytelling Project.
The project aims to bring storytelling to a wide range of audiences over a 12-month period. These audiences will be selected by the groups to ensure inclusivity and outreach, thereby bringing the power of the story to young people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to benefit from the sharing of stories. This project is founded on the values of the Federation: integrity, inclusivity and outreach, a passion for making a difference and a child-centred ethos. It leverages the uniqueness of the Federation – its network of grass-roots, community-based groups, its focus on bringing young people and stories together and its national reach.