DonorsImpactMaggie EvansNewsOCFCollage of images of the Evans family, Patience Agbabi and Isy Mead at The Story Museum

Maggie’s Day 2023 inspires more children with a love of stories

Maggie’s Day is an annual event at The Story Museum showcasing the impact of grants made by the Maggie Evans Fund, which is hosted by Oxfordshire Community Foundation. This year, poet and children’s author Patience Agbabi brought her science fiction novels to life for a group of local school children.

The Maggie Evans Fund commemorates the life of Maggie, a literary agent who died at the age of 29. Her family set up a named fund with OCF in her memory, which is used to help children discover interests that were Maggie’s own passions: a love and appreciation of stories, poems, writing and illustrations.

The fund has supported The Story Museum in Oxford for over ten years, facilitating engaging educational experiences for children, and giving them the chance to meet inspirational authors in the flesh. The Maggie Evans Fund has enabled the charity to target this work at local schools in less affluent areas, where many students lack the confidence or support to access wider cultural experiences.

On 9th November 2023, a group of donors to the fund joined local school children to hear from Patience Agbabi, an acclaimed children’s author and poet. Her book series the Leap Cycle is about the adventures of young heroine Elle, who has the ability to leap through time. Elle and other “Leaplings” – children born on the 29th of February – are in a race against time, and must fight to save the world before it ceases to exist.

Patience talked about her inspirations in writing the main character: her experience of autism in her close family; her love of wordplay; and the Olympics! She says: “She is a mixture of an autistic, younger version of me, people I know and my imagination.”

She then encouraged the children in the audience to think about what might inspire them to be creative, and even write their own stories.

The Story Museum’s Head of Learning Isy Mead presented to the fund’s supporters about plans for the coming year, when the Maggie Evans Fund will support the Spellbound Schools programme, which enhances social and emotional literacy through oral storytelling.

The fund is always very grateful for any new donations, of any size, to help preserve Maggie’s literary legacy and help more children experience the joy of reading. If you would like to donate you can do so here.

Find out more about the Maggie Evans Fund