Children’s illustrators Quentin Blake, Lauren Child, Diane Ewen, Jim Field and Nick Sharratt are among those backing a campaign calling on the UK government to show leadership at the upcoming G7 conference.
The campaign, Crack the Crises, has been instigated by a coalition of more than 75 charities and organisations, including Save the Children, the RSPB, Christian Aid and the Women’s Institute. The group aims to pressure the government during the 11th June summit into committing to delivering Covid-19 vaccines for all, pledging to fight poverty and taking steps to end the climate crisis.
As part of the campaign, the artists have created illustrations featuring their most recognisable characters including Clarice Bean, Oi Frog, and Tracy Beaker for members of the public to collect, decorate, and place in their windows, as part of a visual "Wave of Hope" strand.
Kirsty McNeill, executive director of policy, advocacy and campaigns at Save the Children UK and spokesperson for Crack the Crises, said: “Crack the Crises wants leaders at G7 to commit to delivering vaccines and healthcare for all, fighting poverty and injustice, and ending the climate and nature crises. This means ensuring the fair distribution of Covid tests, treatments and vaccines, offering universal health coverage, and adequate pay and protection for healthcare workers. It means empowering people and giving them access to healthy food, clean water, a home and an education. It means tackling climate change now, and putting nature into recovery to build a healthier planet.“
The Wave of Hope illustrations, which feature the famous characters all raising their hands for the campaign, are available to pick up for free in every Waterstones bookshop, as well as in selected charity shops associated with the coalition across the UK.
Sharratt said: "I’m very glad to contribute to the Wave of Hope campaign. World leaders have got to take proper measures to deal with the crises facing the planet, and we all need to galvanise them into action.”
Child, creator of Clarice Bean, said: “I am very glad to be taking part in the Wave of Hope. These issues touch everyone, but above all our children, as what we do now will shape the world we leave to them. Their voices urgently need to be heard. It is therefore a great privilege to add Clarice Bean’s support to this campaign.”
Ewen, illustrator of Baroness Floella Benjamin’s Coming to England (Macmillan Children's), added: “I was so pleased to be asked to take part in the campaign. I am a great believer in our ability to bring about change when we all come together and I look forward to seeing the impact of the Wave of Hope."