Saturday, 13 April 2024
Saturday, 13 April 2024

Jude’s Legacy: Books Gifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital on World Book Day

PARENTS of Jude Mellon-Jameson, who died from cancer in September 2023, have donated over 500 books to Sheffield Children’s Hospital to celebrate World Book Day and continue Jude’s legacy of Jude and the Book Factory.

In 2021, at the age of three years old, Jude Mellon-Jameson was diagnosed with High-Risk Neuroblastoma at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. After years of specialist treatment, Jude sadly died in Mum, Lucy and Dad, Arron’s arms in September 2023.

Just before Jude died, he founded Jude and the Book Factory, a community of young bookworms. What began as a way to make space for more books turned into an exciting adventure for Jude to share, swap, and hide his books in public spaces for other children to claim as their own.

Throughout Jude’s treatment, the family fundraised thousands of pounds for The Children’s Hospital Charity, including vital funds for the hospital’s Charity-funded cancer and leukaemia ward, where Jude spent much of the final years of his life.

Now, six months on from Jude’s death, Lucy and Arron Mellon-Jameson have donated 571 books to The Children’s Hospital Charity this World Book Day on Thursday 7th March.

The Children’s Hospital Charity supports Sheffield Children’s to change lives every day. Donations and funds raised support Sheffield Children’s in changing paediatric care for thousands of children from across the world who visit Sheffield Children’s.

Before his death, Jude said:

“I like hiding my books for children to enjoy. It makes me happy when I see they’ve gone and I’m excited when we find out they’ve been found!”

Jude's Legacy: Books Gifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital on World Book Day

Mum, Lucy, said:

“We believe that hiding a book for another child is like giving a gift. The hiding and discovery mean they are no longer just books, they are keys to imagination, creativity, and adventure. We understand how it feels to be in the hospital for such a long period of time when your child needs lifesaving treatment.

“Books were a great escape for Jude and us. We know firsthand how books can transport you to a different place and time, and that’s why we’re giving back to Sheffield Children’s, to ensure that children just like Jude can have their own adventures from the comfort of their beds.”

Now, there is a community of over 500 children hiding their unloved, outgrown, excess books so that other children can find them.​

From parks to indoor play areas, farms and more, Jude hid hundreds of books for children to find, just as Jude’s lovingly named ‘frends’ continue to do so now in his memory. Hillsborough gift shop, Annie Jude’s, became home to Jude and the Book Factory’s first book swap space, where Jude’s final wishes of spreading magic through books will continue.

Jude’s dad and former Sheffield Wednesday FC goalkeeper, Arron, said:

“It’s a way of doing something that will not only help Jude and us, but lots of other families now and in the future.

“Jude touched many hearts and having this special project means we have a way of remembering Jude and can ensure that the Jude magic reaches as many people as possible.

“We read to Jude daily, even in his final days of life as he was being cared for at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. It transformed the cruel situation we were in, where we could create those last special memories with him. Even in his last days of life as he was slipping away, his imagination was still very much alive.”

Hub Fundraising Officer, Jane Darby, said:

“Lucy and Arron have donated a huge collection of books, thinking about every child who may possibly be under the care of Sheffield Children’s. Each and every department will benefit from this donation.

“Jude was an absolute joy. Jude and the Book Factory is a perfect legacy for him as he was such a character himself! The magic of Jude and the Book Factory has spread far and wide. Even my granddaughter has found a book, and she is so inspired that she will be wearing the Jude and the Book Factory’s logo as part of her own World Book Day costume. We are so grateful for Lucy and Arron and their continued support.”

Children are encouraged to join Jude and the Book Factory, where registered ‘frends’ receive a certificate, book labels to share the mission, and a badge or wildflower seeds to commemorate their contribution. To get involved, please visit: judeandthebookfactory.co.uk.

To find out more about The Children’s Hospital Charity and make a difference yourself, please visit: tchc.org.uk/donate.

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