AN author says she feels 'proud' to have been made an honorary member of a national charity.

Celebrated children’s author, poet and storyteller Christina Gabbitas, who hails from Blackburn, has been made an honorary member of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) Council for her fundraising efforts and dedication to child protection.

The NSPCC is the leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK and the 50-year-old received the award at the charity’s annual council meeting in London last Thursday (October 4).

The former Blackburn College student said: “I feel so proud to receive this honour. To be associated with the NSPCC, who work tirelessly to protect and support all our children facing abuse and neglect is really gratifying to me.

"I am so clear in my view that nothing could be more worthwhile, then keeping children safe and giving them the vocabulary to ensure they know how to express their worries and speak out in times of need. I had a wonderful day."

Ali Jeremy, director of communications at the NSPCC, who nominated Christina, said: “Christina deserves the highest level of recognition from the NSPCC for her dedication and unstinting enthusiasm.

"She is a wonderful lady who is passionate about safeguarding whilst conveying a love of reading which can open up so many new worlds for our children.”

Christina has also written a rhyming book endorsed by the NSPCC which addresses safeguarding issues, exploring the difference between good and troublesome secrets, encouraging primary school children to speak out if they are worried by anything.

An animation of her book, Share Some Secrets, has now been added to an online Child Exploitation toolkit offered by Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioners office.

Robert Ruston, victims and vulnerable people lead for the police and crime commissioner's office, added: "We recognised that there is a need for resources that work with younger, primary age pupils and the 'Share Some Secrets' book and on-line animation will be an excellent addition to the toolkit. Providing suitable resources that younger children can use on their own as well as with teachers, carers and parents is an area of resources that we need to grow and develop – and this is a useful start."