Posted by: christinelaennec | March 3, 2011

The Dafter’s charity creativity

If you live in Britain, you will probably know that March 18th is Red Nose Day.  It’s a big fundraising campaign for Comic Relief, which helps charities both in Britain and internationally.  The Dafter is very publically-minded and empathetic.  She’s done various fundraisers over the years, just of her own accord.  After the Haiti earthquake she got sponsorship to go a week without eating anything sweet, and raised about £40 I think.  This year she’s produced some beautiful bookmarks and some booklets of quotations, which she’s selling to raise funds for Comic Relief.

I was so impressed with her creations that I wanted to show you some of them:

Bookmarks sold in aid of Red Nose Day 2011. All dreamed up and manufactured by the Dafter.

As regular readers will know, the transition to high school has not been an easy one for her.  Academically she is fine but socially things have become a nightmare.  Any parent whose child’s self-esteem has plummeted due to low-level bullying will know how heartbreaking it is to witness.

The Dafter finds great comfort in music and art.

We shall have to see what we can do next.   In the meantime, she’s making a contribution to the lives of people who are facing even greater challenges.  I admire her for being so strong and brave and giving.  As you can see, she truly does have a “colourful” soul!



  1. These are gorgeous. What variety! Would your daughter do an export order to Edinburgh? – I’m forever losing my place in my book and grabbing the nearest thing to hand – a bank statement, shopping list etc.
    I feel for you with the school issues and know exactly what you’re going through. My son was badly bullied at his first school – a very well regarded private, at that time all-boys school. It got worse when he moved to the secondary part, and nothing was done to tackle it. I think it was part of the ‘manly’ ethos. One day something happened – another in a long line of incidents – which made me snap, and I wrote that night to give notice that we would withdraw him. it is not always easy getting a place at another private school here outside the normal application time, but we were lucky and he was offered a place at two schools, both co-ed. Taking the decision to withdraw him instead of hoping that things would get better, and choosing the school we did, were the best decisions we have ever made. He was completely and utterly happy from day 1 at his new school, and described his first term there as ‘magical’. We were so pleased with the school that we then moved his sister there, although she had been happy at her school. However, she was even happier once she’d moved, so that worked out. (phew!)

    So from someone who has been there, do consider other options if you can. It is not time that your child can get back.

  2. What creativity – everyone unique. I particularly like some of the phrases!

  3. … and not a skull or crossbones in sight! Our daughters are very very different and yet so alike in their experience of the wonderful world of secondary school. Whatever happens, she will know she has your love and support and that is so important. I know a great school in Hackney with a short waiting list…?!

  4. Dear Christine would you mind telling dafter that I absolutely love her bookmarks..They’re gorgeous…
    A big hug for “motter”and “dotter”
    Erna xx

  5. Go Dafter Go 😉 these are lovely and good luck with selling them, I am sure they’ll go like hot-cakes.
    I know what you are going through as a Mum, been there too with Anna-Maria. She got so unhappy in her private secondary first year that we moved her. She is now in co-ed State School and we have never looked back.
    For a time my beautiful, talented and outgoing girl became very sad and unsure of the world…but now she is thriving, happy and has got all her confidence back.
    Thinking of you

  6. These are beautifully made by your dafter, as she is beautifully made, herself.

  7. your daughter has a wonderful, color-filled, creative soul and that is evident in her bookmarks and the fact that she would even consider doing this to help others. kudos to her! i am sorry she is having a hard time at school. i hope things work out for her.

  8. I certainly agree with Linda’s response. My son was the subject of medium-level bullying in his first year at our local government high school and we concluded that it wasn’t going to be fixed by the school, despite the assurances to the contrary by the staff. We had a strong government-school preference ourselves and a small budget to spare, but with financial help from my mother and some luck in getting a place, we moved him to a private school in the last term of his first year of high school. The school was an inner-city one which had a lot of “unusual” students (and parents) and the ‘different’ students were not only tolerated but appreciated. It was amazing what a difference that move made. Both schools were co-ed, and on the surface seemed similar in their student populations (neither was especially high or low achieving academically), but somehow there was a huge cultural difference in terms of tolerance and diversity.

    On the other hand…when I was in high school I experienced a small amount of bullying in first year, but this sorted itself out when the classes became more academically streamed and the kids became slightly more mature in later years.

    Life is tough as a teenager, isn’t it? Who ever said that your school years are the best of your life? It wasn’t me!

  9. Dear All,

    Thank you so much for your caring and thoughtful comments. I have passed all the compliments on to the Dafter, who got a boost from them. The bookmarks (and booklets) have indeed sold well, and that’s been nice for her too. I am very relieved that this evening she is designing a poster and singing. Vive le weekend!

    Linda, your phrase “It is not time that your child will get back” has rung in my ears since I read it. You’re so right. Your experience, and Knitsister’s, and oldblack’s, are all helpful to hear about. Oldblack, it’s very true that often things right themselves, and there’s a lot to be said for sticking things out. But as you also say, you know when your child needs to be rescued from a particular situation. It’s funny how the same school can be perfect for one child and completely wrong for another.

    Also, I completely concur that high school = best years is a myth (for many)!

    Martin, I loved “beautifully made, as she is, herself”. (As are we all – even the bullies? Maybe that’s too theological!)

    Roobeedoo – thank you for the hearty laugh!!

    I have faith we’ll find a way through this. Knitsister, I will keep that image of return-to-true-happy-self in my mind!

    Scruffybadger, ajb and Erna – your comments warmed me, thanks!

  10. Love, love the bookmarks – what a clever, talented daughter you have!

  11. I’m a bit late to the party here..but still wanted to leave a comment on how beautiful the bookmarks are! So glad that they’re selling so well. I hope your daughter realizes that her worth is not found in someone else’s approval or disapproval. She’s a gem beyond belief simply for who she is….and I’m sure you’re instilling that in her on a regular basis. Her creative work is evidence of that fact

    • Dear Lisa,
      Never too late for a word of encouragement! Thank you (on the Dafter’s behalf). I think once she is in a better environment where her sense of worth isn’t constantly eroded, she will be able to believe that worth isn’t found in others. I often quote Eleanor Roosevelt to her: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think her creative work does reflect back to her that she has something good inside.

  12. a colorful, generous soul.

  13. Admirable blog post

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