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Dick King-Smith – the beloved British children’s author whose book, The Sheep Pig, was made into the movie Babe – died at the age of 88 this week, leaving behind a charity legacy that has touched the hearts of children and adults alike.

The author poured his heart into his writing – penning more than 130 books for children – but was also well-known for helping raise £15 million for the Children’s Hospice South West in Wraxall through the Babe’s Big Appeal campaign.

“Dick was a fantastically generous man and he most willingly lent the name Babe to our appeal to build a children’s hospice to serve the greater Bristol area,” said Eddie Farwell, founder of the hospice. "He was always supportive and gave of his time freely – that is how we found him during the course of the appeal. He was absolutely tremendous, full of fun and totally committed to what we were doing and improving the lives of children.

“He improved millions of children’s lives through his writing, and he brought that joy to the appeal. He was gracious, warm and a lovely human being, and we are in his debt. He was a lovely, lovely man and I am tremendously sad to hear of his passing. It was a real pleasure to know him.”

King-Smith was also president of Hop, Skip and Jump South West in Kingswood, a special organization that supports children with special needs – as well as vice president of the Avon Wildlife Trust, the largest local charity working to protect wildlife in the Avon area.

His death leaves a hole in British literature and philanthropy.

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