A BLACKBURN-BORN author has been recognised for her work in promoting children’s literature and child protection.

Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Cllr Jim Shorrock gave the honour to Christina Gabbitas, who has been promoting the work of NSPCC Childline in the coronavirus lockdown with her award-winning story Share Some Secrets.

The story is about a little girl named Milly who is struggling to share her troublesome secret, but her bother Billy encourages her to tell her teacher.

Ms Gabbitas, who has previously been made an honorary member of the NSPCC Council for her dedication to promoting safeguarding children, said the story teaches children about the difference between good and troublesome secrets and not to be afraid.

The book has been endorsed by the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, safeguarding consultants, teachers and Robert Ruston – violence reduction unit programme manager at the police and crime commissioner's office.

Speaking about her award from the Mayor, former Blackburn College student and organiser of the annual Blackburn Children’s Literature Festival Ms Gabbitas said: "This is such an honour to receive this award from the Mayor who has been very supportive of the Blackburn Children’s Literature Festival and passionate about spreading the word about child protection."

Cllr Shorrock said “I’m awarding this to Christina in appreciation and recognition of the outstanding contribution made to Blackburn with Darwen for her dedication and promotion of children’s literature throughout the borough and for promoting education and awareness around child safety.”

Actress Jenny Agutter, who is a parton of the literature festival, said: "As a patron of children’s literature festivals, i am thrilled for Christina on obtaining this well deserved recognition, encouraging children’s literacy is the best gift one can give a child. Well told stories are a source of joy, sparking the imagination, developing an interest in the world around us and giving greater understanding of all we share."

The re-arranged Blackburn Children's Literature Festival is set to take place from September 17 to September 19.

For more information visit www.blackburncrf.com