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Dickens Day charity event for Great Ormond Street Hospital

GOSH Collection at Earls Court Underground Station

What a wonderful day, collecting lots of loot for Great 
Ormond Street Hospital at Earls Court Underground Station.Thank you so much to Londonist and Lindsey, 
for helping us to find last minute volunteers, and to 
everyone who so generously gave their time on such 
a cold day. We deeply appreciated the station staff 
being so helpful, many thanks. You may already know 
that Dickens was a great benefactor to the early 
GOSH- without him the hospital would not have

      Niki and Natalie with the Station Supervisor

Dickens Day For Great Ormond Street Hospital

We are collecting at Earls Court 
Underground Station this Saturday
for GOSH and still need volunteers 
to help. If you can spare two hours, 
please get in touch with me at 
The same applies if you want to 
send a contribution, Please help,
WE NEED YOU- Many Thanks.

Happy Birthday Chantelle

Chantelle talked brilliantly at Dickens Day For GOSH about her gratitude to Great Ormond Street Hospital. She was 15 and a Sickle Cell Survivor. When she was 4, she was diagnosed with Sickle Cell and had complications with stroke, coma, meningitis and kidney infection. Her 16th birthday is today, the 8th December and she says 'I am very grateful to Great Ormond Street Hospital for the work they do that helps children like myself". As a well deserved present, she is invited, with her sister and Mum, to the Arts Theatre, to a  performance of Simon Callow in 'A Christmas Carol'. 
On behalf of all our volunteers, have a splendid 16th birthday and a wonderful theatre visit! 
Many happy returns, Chantelle!

Please go to her blog to read more about her journey.  You can also search for Chantelle’s Dream on twitter and facebook to stay in touch.

Chuzzlewits Christmas Supper Dance For GOSH

   Supper Dance at Chuzzlewits     

       Saturday 8th December from 7.30p.m.

        *  Traditional Christmas Dinner (or alternative available)
        *  Christopher West will give a short summary of the recent Dickens Day For      
                 GOSH event at the Royal Society For Medicine.
        *  There will also be a fun, festive Twist With Dickens Quiz
        *  Cost £11.95 + £5 donation for GOSH

The venue is in Thomas More Square, up from Waitrose. near Fitness First. 10 minute walk from Tower Hill Tube or use 100 bus. For tickets, please email or phone 02035833328

Fitness First donate to Dickens Day For GOSH

Congratulations Beata Raczkiewicz, Member Services Manager at Fitness First, Thomas More Square- she organised a day long  spinathon cycling event, raising £260 for Dickens Day for Great Ormond Street Hospital. It was a great day, she inspired everyone with her engaging but determined smile- raising money for the world famous hospital, of which Dickens was a great benefactor. Well done, many thanks Beata. Money can still be donated to Dickens Day For GOSH, just press:             

Beata at Fitness First                                                      

Dickens Day Success

Hi everyone- well we had a truly great day- for me, the thought that so many youngsters (and not so young) went away having really enjoyed themselves and been inspired, thinking about positive issues such as personal best and excellence, was very exciting. 
Whether you gave a lot or a little of your time and energy, you did it, like me, for free! I am very proud to feel that so many people have enjoyed helping for the sake of it, rather than for financial reward;  many of you have gone home proud and 
thrilled to feel that in some small way you, like me, have helped to make a difference. Thank you, all of you, most humbly and sincerely. Of course, I'll let everyone know how much we have already raised- and I will be continuing until the end of year or January. Thank you again, so much. 
Do comment on our facebook page.
                          If you wish to donate:

Tickets still available Dickens Day For GOSH

Tickets still available at the door- Christmas Fayre is free. Or donate through 

Natasha, Star of Dickens Day For Great Ormond Street Hospital

This gorgeous young girl is my granddaughter Natasha, the inspiration for Dickens Day. Her life was saved by brilliant surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital- she was only four weeks old when admitted to GOSH, with a cyst in her throat. Days passed as these top world experts observed and tested. The situation became critical, so she was put in intensive care. 
Days later, her condition dramatically worsened and she was operated on as an emergency; we understand that there were seven surgeons involved! The life saving operation was successful- thank you, so much, GOSH. The cyst was eventually identified as benign, and we can now hardly see the scar. Paul was marvellous with the children and supporting Camilla.  Natasha's brother Oskar and his younger sister Lola 

were so very worried, and behaved splendidly during this incredibly stressful period for all of us. I was fortunate to be with Camilla at GOSH myself, much of the time- Camilla was superb and GOSH was EXCELLENT!

Matthews Family At Dickens Day For GOSH

"The Matthews Family perform for your delight, 
a dramatic and musical celebration of the mid-Victorian 
explorers who searched for the NW Passage, the fate 
of HM Discovery Ship RESOLUTE, and the Wilkie 
Collins/Charles Dickens 1856 Christmas play collaboration, 
The Frozen Deep. With a cast that includes Sir John Franklin, 
Captain Edward "Hell Afloat" Belcher (the villain), the noble 
Captain Henry Kellett (the Hero), Captain James Buddington, 
Charles Dickens, Lady Jane Franklin (the Heroine), and Queen 
Victoria herself. Fun will be had by all!"


Robert Elms Show and Dickens Day For GOSH

If you still haven't made up your mind about attending Dickens Day, 
this blog is for YOU. On Thursday 22nd Nov. I will be talking on the 
Robert Elms BBC London radio show about how brilliant the event will 
be, and how you really must come along to support us. I am due on 
at 1 40, so please do listen. If you have to miss coming along, please 
just donate what you are comfortable with. It will be a busy day, 
because I will also be giving a talk about Dickens Day, at Fitness First, 
in Thomas More Square- Beata and her colleagues are devoting a whole
day to a special programme called Spinathon. raising 
money for GOSH, by having sponsors cycling right through the day, 
so I will look forward to saying hello to them and wishing them well 
while I am on air. Her team page for Dickens Day For Gosh is  
Come along at 6 pm if you would like to, for my Talk.

Amrit Hare- expert 11 year old Dickens + Shakespeare reader

Amrit Hare is an 11-year-old boy from Leeds, who is home-educated alongside his brother, Taran, aged seven. They are taught by their schoolteacher father. In 2010, at the tender age of 8, Amrit had read the Complete Works of Shakespeare. In 2012, as a 10-year-old, he decided to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Dickens, by reading all 36 volumes of the Complete Works of Charles Dickens. He combined his reading of Dickens with a visit to Portsmouth to see the writer's birthplace; attendance at the National Dickens Readers' Day in Lancaster; a viewing of the Dickens and his World exhibition at the Bodleian 

Library, University of Oxford and seeing as many plays based on 
the books as he could. Amrit talks about how his Dickens reading progressed. Would he recommend the experience? Join him to find out. (We certainly will)!

Chantelle Msumbuga, guest speaker at Dickens Day For GOSH

Chantelle, will be talking about her gratitude to Great Ormond Street Hospital. She is 15 and a Sickle Cell Survivor. When she was 4, she was diagnosed with Sickle Cell and had complications with stroke, coma, meningitis and kidney infection. She will be  16 on the 8 December and is very grateful that she she has survived this long. She says " It is a big and I am hoping to have a big celebration of my life. I am speaking here today because I am very grateful to Great 

Ormond Street Hospital for the work they do that helps children like myself". Please go to her blog to read more about her journey.  You can also search for Chantelle’s Dream on twitter and facebook to stay in touch.

Lucinda Hawksley at Dickens Day For Great Ormond Street Hospital

Well known writer, Lucinda Hawksley, 
will be a guest speaker at our 
Dickens Day For GOSH, next Sunday, 
25th November, at the Royal Society 
For Medicine, Wimpole Street. You 
may already know that she is the 
great great great granddaughter 
of Charles Dickens, so no surprise 
that she talks expertly on the subject. 
Lucinda is sitting where her famous 
ancester used to sit, while eating at 
Rules, one of his favourite restaurants.
Pictured with Lucinda, is Dominick Gerrard
also performing for us, with his puppet,

Please contact me at for queries or further information



Kings College Chorus sings at Dickens Day For GOSH

A poem by Matthew Thompson, a young outpatient at GOSH, set to music by Christopher Schlechte-Bond. The title is "I'm So Happy To Have You There", and will be sung for Matthew, his family and friends (and, of course, the public) at Dickens Day For GOSH. They will also sing a selection of their favourite carols. The photo shows the composer holding the music, accompanied by Lucinda Hawksley, well known great great great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, and myself. We 
are standing in Rules Restaurant, on the actual spot where the great man ate regularly at his favourite table.  

The Choristers are all university students (undergrad/postgrad)). Running for the past two years, the choir has sung some major choral works, including Mozart's Requiem,  Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, our next concert being a performance of Brahms' Requiem at King's College London's Strand Campus on the 2nd of December. Find us on Facebook at! 


Dominic Gerrard and his Srooge Puppet to perform in Dickens Day for GOSH

One of the stars performing at Dickens Day will be Dominic Gerrard and his Scrooge. All the young performers and helpers are also stars, so do come and see this splendid lineup on the 25th. If you can't attend, please donate. Former Whatsonstage Award winners Tim Carroll and Dominic Gerrard re-unite in this  special festive performance of Dickens’s most famous Christmas story. Adapted and performed by Dominic Gerrard, this show will transport you through Scrooge’s life as he journeys

 out, one bleak Christmas night, with the ghosts that have been sent to reclaim him  Tim Carroll (who is currently directing Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry in the West End's Richard III andTwelfth Night) returns to direct this bicentennial production that incorporates puppetry and a Christmas soundscape."I was spellbound by Dominic Gerrard's one-man show of A Christmas Carol. It's the perfect way to begin your Christmas " Lucinda Dickens Hawksley " I came away transfixed and am even writing this with a smile on my face ... please please please go to see this if you can."  The Public Reviews.

For tickets or donations, please click:

Oliver Twist at Dickens Day for GOSH

The drama club attached to 
Our Lady of The Visitation RC School 
will be performing at Dickens Day on 
the 25th November at 11am.  They will 
perform three short scenes selected from 
Oliver Twist, showcasing their creative 
talents.  This Catholic school prides 
itself on celebrating the arts and being 
a keen supporter to community. There
is a programme of period drama and
        music right through the day. 
        Buy your early bird ticket, or donate at 

Dickens Day For GOSH

Chiswick School Theatre Company 
is performing 'Hard Times,' an 
adaptation of the opening pages 
of Dickens Hard Times, featuring 
a scene set in Coketown school. 
This shows Dickens’ satirical 
attitude to schooling in the 
1800s. There will be performances
and inspirational Talks taking 
place right through the day. If you
can't make it on the day, please
donate to help us raise money for
Great Ormond Street Hospital, of 
which Dickens was a great patron.

Eventbrite - Dickens Day (in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital)

Portland Place School at Dickens Day For GOSH

Portland Place School will be 
performing scenes from the classic
Oliver Twist at our Dickens Day event 
at the Royal Society For Medicine, 
Wimpole Street. For enquiries, please 


Eventbrite - Dickens Day (in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital)

Trevor-Roberts School in Dickens Day For GOSH

It will all happen two weeks today. One of the schools performing is Trevor-Roberts School 
in Swiss Cottage. Their senior choir will be 
performing  seasonal carols and carol-anthems: Ding dong merrily on high, Hark the herald, 
In the bleak mid-winter, O come all ye faithful, 
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, Walking in a winter wonderland, The Trevor-Roberts Chamber choir will sing What sweeter music.They will also have some pupils performing extracts from Dylan Thomas' 'A child's Christmas'. Sounds wonderful? Yes, and this is but a sample.
Please book tickets asap.

Eventbrite - Dickens Day (in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital)

Dickens Day For Great Ormond Street Hospital, 25th November

We have a whole series of performers, 
right through the day on the 25th November.
For example, Orchard House School, Chiswick, 
will be performing 3 songs + 2 sketches, 
'Who will buy'  by Lionel Bart (from Oliver Twist)  
Little Jack Horner -  Traditional Wassail song - 
Traditional Monologue by Scrooge Scene from 
Scrooge's Counting House. This is just a sample.
There will also be inspirational Talks throughout
the day, a Christmas Fayre and exhibition 

For tickets, or to donate if you can't attend,
Eventbrite - Dickens Day (in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital)

Dickens Day For Great Ormond Street Hospital

We now have a fine new poster, thanks 
to Photini, a very talented post grad 
volunteer, helping with our exciting 
Dickens Day event, coming up on 
Sunday 25 th November. Tickets are 
now available on eventbrite and you 
can also donate on the site if you can't 
come along. Various schools and groups 
are performing right through the day; 
watch postings in the next few days to 
see what's going on, 
or better, still, just
buy or donate. 
Eventbrite - Dickens Day (in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital)
Thank you. 


Charles Dickens And Christmas, My next Talk on 6th November

We will be discussing various aspects of Dickens 
interest in Christmas, and his driving energy towards 
influencing employers, such as factory owners and the professions, to allow an official holiday for employees 
to rest and and enjoy a special day with the family. 
I refer, on my website, to his huge influence towards 
Christmas films and theatre productions- no surprise 
then, that we currently have Simon Callow appearing in 
Christmas Carol and Tommy Steele in Scrooge, both in 
major West End Theatres. So his influence is still felt 
very strongly felt today. How was this great man so 
deeply motivated and dedicated towards reform? What 
  drove Dickens intense energy? Just how important is he?      

We will share some of the answers on Tuesday!

Dickens Day (For Great Ormond Street Hospital)

Tickets are now on sale for this great, 
fun event, celebrating 200 years of 
Charles Dickens. His link with GOSH was, 
of course, all important; the BBC did an
excellent piece to illustrate this, with me 
as CD, reading from his work, filming at 
GOSH and the Dickens Museum. Please 
remember to tell your friends and buy 
tickets by clicking on 'buy tickets' below.
To view film, please click here:   

Charity No 235825

Dickens Day (For Great Ormond Hospital) on sale with Eventbrite

Eventbrite - Dickens Day (in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital)
Tickets are now on sale for our prestigious Dickens Day for GOSH- so please purchase asap and tell your friends. If you are unable to attend, there is a space for you to donate, any amount will be greatly appreciated. Proceeds will be donated to the charity. We are all volunteers, working for free, and we have been able to keep costs to a minimum.Lots of schools and groups are looking forward to performing period music and drama right through the day, celebrating 200 years of Charles Dickens; there will be various inspirational Talks, Exhibition and Christmas Fayre. 

Introducing Charles Dickens And His Christmas Nov. 6th

My next Talk will focus on Charles Dickens influence on Christmas- there is far more than just 'Christmas Carol', despite its well earned world acclaim. His four other Christmas books, together with numerous articles also associated, give a fascinating insight into his personality and his great pioneering spirit towards achieving a better, fairer set of living standards for ordinary people. For more details: 

This theme will be present at our Dickens Day (For Great Ormond Hospital), on November 25th, when schools and other groups will be celebrating 200 years of Dickens and his devotion to GOSH and the suffering of children. Do buy tickets and join us.

Dickens Day (for GOSH) Gift sketch

This adorable sketch has been 
presented to us by Jane Young, 
designer and Historian.It depicts, in 
clever Dickensian style, the link 
between Great Ormond Street Hospital 
and the sick children that were such a 
concern to Charles Dickens. Tiny Tim 
would have greatly benefited from 
correct treatment, and symbolises how
fortunate we are now to have the facilities 
offered at GOSH. We still have room for 
more schools, choirs and drama groups to
perform, and we would love to hear from
inspirational speakers who could give half 
hour talks.We will cherish the sketch and 
ensure it is displayed in a place of honour 
at our 
on 25th November.                                    

Charles Dickens And Excellence, 2nd October

This Talk will explore  Charles  Dickens aspirations and achievements as his life  developed, from his childhood, early career, then into marriage and becoming a father, having to cope with success and eventually failing in his marriage. Despite huge setbacks, particularly in childhood, Dickens did always believe in doing his best and aspiring towards excellence. Simon Callow has pointed out that Dickens may have been bipolar- with modern understanding (as with the improvement in knowledge about disablement, following the gargantuan Paralympics) does this help us to sympathise with some of the criticism of the great man? The Talk will be  presented lightly and entertainingly, and there will be opportunity for discussion and participation.                                                                          Book here for tickets, also available at the bar.

Talk: Charles Dickens And Excellence

This Talk will explore  Charles  Dickens aspirations and achievements as his life  developed, from his childhood, early career, then into marriage and becoming a father, having to cope with success and eventually failing in his marriage. Despite huge setbacks, particularly in childhood, Dickens did always believe in doing his best and aspiring towards excellence. Simon Callow has pointed out that Dickens may have been bipolar- with modern understanding (as with the improvement in 
knowledge about disablement, following the gargantuan Paralympics) does this help us to sympathise with some of the criticism of the great man? The Talk will be  presented lightly and entertainingly, and there will be opportunity for discussion and participation. 
                                            Book here for tickets

Dickens Day (For Great Ormond Street Hospital)

Volunteers reminding us of the importance of Charles Dickens influence in building the magnificent Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand. We are working hard with all the work needed to organise this big event. Schools, choirs, music and drama groups are welcome 
to get in touch on 

Tiny Tim reminds us just how far medicine has improved, not least thanks to the excellence of Great Ormond Street Hospital and its pioneering techniques. Charles Dickens gave so much time and effort to influence society and improve conditions, also helping GOSH with money to expand. Our Dickens Day will celebrate this with young people performing music and drama and having a great time. We also need more volunteers, so please do get in touch. Click here for more information about Dickens Day, 25th November 2012

Dickens Day, 25th November, Royal Society For Medicine

Charity No 235825
This major event will be held at the Royal Society of Medicine, On Sunday 25th November, and will bring children together to celebrate Charles Dickens huge influence on legal reform, education  and hospitals. There will be Dickensian music performed by schools and individuals, Christmas Fayre, displays and exhibits,  and a series of fun talks, cartoons and

films, all about Charles Dickens and his London. You may know that Dickens played a great part in helping Great Ormond Street Hospital  to grow and thrive- all money raised will be donated to this great hospital. Anyone interested in this exciting event, whether teachers, performers, exhibitors, sponsors, fund raisers or volunteers, please get in touch- it promises to be an excellent event.                             

Venue's Luxury Theatre and splendid Exhibition Hall / Christmas Fayre Space:                                                                                                                                                                                          
The Royal Society of Medicine is at the end of
Wimpole Street, opposite the rear of House of 
Fraser, Oxford street, London W1.

Talk: Charles Dickens And Excellence, 4th September

 Tickets are still available for my next Talk on Tuesday. We'll be discussing different views about the great man, including some of the comments made by Claire Tomalin. Quoting from the Guardian about her excellent book, they wrote 'Refusing to judge (even though Dickens could be vindictive, self-justifying, pompous and unforgiving) she reveals his flaws with something approaching affection and presents an unforgettably rich and compassionate portrait of a prodigiously extravagant heart'. For more details, click here.

Charles Dickens And Excellence

"Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried
 with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have 
devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; 
in great aims and in small I have always thoroughly 
been in earnest." Charles Dickens said this towards
the end of his life. We will explore what famous critics 
had to say, both good and bad, then measure this against definitions of excellence. Comments are welcome.

You need Flash Player in order to view this.
The George On The Strand

This splendid historical pub is the venue 
for some of my Talks about Charles Dickens. 
It is opposite the Royal Courts of Justice 
and just along from St Mary's Le Strand, 
where Dickens parents were married.


Charles Dickens And Excellence, next Talk on 4th September

In my Talk, we'll discuss how 
others perceived Charles Dickens, 
his aspirations and legacy. 
Queen Victoria commented, 
shortly after Dickens died,  in her 
diary, 'He had a large loving mind 
and the strongest sympathy with 
the poorer classes. He felt sure a
 better feeling, and much greater 
union of classes, would take place 
in time. And I pray earnestly it may'. 
We'll also look at some of his critics 
and their views.

For further details, press here.                                       

Charles Dickens And Excellence: Talk on Sept 4th.

Charles Dickens sought after excellence right through his life. Even with the publication of his earliest works, he found the best illustrators available. He excelled in much of his work and effort, motivated by the fear of failure, not least financial, and also had to deal 

with huge injustice, rejection and his personal failure in marriage. But his great drive and energy spurred him on to success after success. There are so many inspirational quotes taken from his work; some favourites are  'A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self',. 'A loving heart is the truest wisdom'. There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth'. The power of these words help make clear why we are celebrating 200 years of Charles Dickens. For more details, click here. 

Dickens Day, November 25th, Royal Society For Medicine

Thanks again to Royal Society of Medicine, Wimpole Street for hosting our event. We are going from strength to strength with the organisation of this important event. A number of volunteers have come forward to help, and several celebrities have already agreed to talk to the children during the event. Please do get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting, sponsoring or fund raising. We'll be contacting schools and other organisations soon. For more details, click here.

   Charity no: 235825

This BBC Film features Lucinda Hawksley 
and myself showing how important 
Charles Dickens was in his support for 
Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Talk: Charles Dickens And Excellence 4th September

This Talk will follow how Charles Dickens 
became motivated and able to turn adversity 
into success. Even for his earliest work, when 
he was struggling for recognition and acceptance, 
he insisted on the highest quality from publishers 
and illustrators. Of course, he knew failure and 
had setbacks, but still thrust forward, to earn 
his place as the leading reformer of his time, 
second only to Shakespeare in the world of 

literature, and one of the finest stage performers 
with his one man shows. This theme will also be 
celebrated in my major charity event in November, celebrating 200 years of Charles Dickens, raising
funds for Great Ormond Hospital, the hospital that
is very grateful for Dickens support and huge 
patronage. The Talk will take place at The George 

Charles Dickens Day for Great Ormond Street Hospital

   Sunday 25th November  is now the date, at the
   awesome Royal Society Of Medicine at
   1, Wimpole Street, W1. It will be a great day for
   celebratating 200 years of Charles Dickens and
   his importantant link with the great Hospital.
charity no 235825

The Day will involve schools and groups presenting     Dickensian themed drama and music in the splendid
Theatre, an exhibition and Christmas Fayre, as well
as a programme of Talks , films and cartoons, some
presented by celebrity speakers. Please do get in
touch if you would like to take part, volunteer to
help, or want more information.                                   

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