Charities I support
Because I believe that one should ‘act locally’ I always try to support my local Dorset charities, and the fantastic people who work so hard for them. For many years I have been a patron of Julia’s House, a wonderful children’s hospice providing devoted care for children with life limiting illnesses and offering practical and emotional support for their families in their own homes and during respite care.
I am also a patron of Dorchester Arts. Dorchester Arts is an amazing and important organisation which encourages people of all ages to enjoy and participate in a wide range of arts events at local venues. It welcomes acts from all over the country and also gives opportunities for local community groups to get involved.
Visit to Sierra Leone for Médecins sans Frontières
In April of 2004, I spent two weeks in Sierra Leone as the guest of Médecins sans Frontières. I was there to observe the advances that MSF has made in that country with its mother-child health initiative. I met with dozens of mothers and their children, and I even took part in an emergency Caesarean that helped save the life of a young mother.
Zimbabwe library project
When I won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award in 1994 for The Scold’s Bridle, I donated the prize money to start a library project in Zimbabwe. My UK publisher, Macmillan, donated an equivalent amount of money and together we were able to stock several bush schools with library books for children, written in the local dialects. The photo below show me receiving gifts from some of the schoolchildren and reviewing the books the money helped buy.