The University’s Chancellor, Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson, has received a lifetime achievement award in recognition of her significant contribution to children’s enjoyment of reading around the world.
Posted: 6 November 2015
Dame Jacqueline, creator of characters including Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker, has sold more than 38 million books in the UK, which have also been translated into 34 different languages.
She was presented with the JM Barrie Award by Action for Children’s Arts during a high-profile event in central London.
The prize is awarded annually to an eminent figure whose work in the field will ‘stand the test of time’ in the view of Action for Children’s Arts. Dame Jacqueline’s award was described as recognising ‘a lifetime of unforgettable writing for children’ by ACA.
During the awards ceremony, Roehampton’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul O’Prey, explained the important role which Dame Jacqueline carries out at the University, and how students often have the chance to meet her.
As Chancellor, Dame Jacqueline is the ceremonial head of the University. Her primary responsibility is presiding over graduation ceremonies and welcoming visiting dignitaries. She is a strong supporter of Roehampton and can often be found talking to prospective students at University open days including the one this Saturday, November 7. In addition, she is Professor of Children’s Literature, and gives annual masterclasses to Roehampton students, inspiring the next generation of writers and sharing her experience and enthusiasm.
Nationally, Dame Jacqueline was Children’s Laureate from 2005-2007 when she spearheaded a campaign to encourage parents and carers to read aloud to children. She was awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to literacy in schools and then was awarded a DBE in 2008.
David Wood OBE, chair of ACA said: “Children are the future. The arts practitioners who specialise in entertaining and inspiring them, and triggering their imaginations deserve public recognition. This is the 11th year of the J M Barrie Awards and we are proud to honour Dame Jacqueline Wilson.”
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