Blue Peter badge helping Sophie’s memory live on

A FORMER Portishead schoolgirl who lost her battle with liver disease in January has posthumously been awarded a gold Blue Peter Badge.

Sophie Thatcher needed a liver transplant but the 12-year-old died in January before a suitable organ could be found.

Sophie’s mum Sharon was given the gold badge, the television programme’s highest accolade, after members of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) nominated her. In a letter, Blue Peter editor Tim Levell said the award had been made in Sophie’s memory for her bravery and endeavour.

A Blue Peter spokesman said: “Gold badge awards are extremely rare and only given in exceptional circumstances, but this case is very deserving.”

Throughout her illness Sophie remained positive and worked hard to raise awareness of liver disease in children and organ donation. In July last year, as a pupil at St Peter’s Primary School, she organised a Yellow Monday event when she asked all pupils to wear yellow and make a donation to help to CLDF.

In July 2010 the Thatcher family moved to Weston and, in September, while most her friends moved to Gordano School, Sophie enrolled at Wyvern Community School.

Sophie’s friends in Portishead have continued to fundraise for CLDF in Sophie’s memory.

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Around 20 pals organised a sponsored walk from Portishead to Clevedon and back along the cliff path earlier this year, raising more than �200, and year seven students at Gordano School held a Wear Yellow Day. As a result they presented Sophie’s older sister Rachel with a cheque for �638 for the charity.

Sharon said: “It helps the family enormously in our loss to know that people are still remembering Sophie and continuing some of the work.”

To find out more about the organ donor scheme visit or call the 24 hour hotline on 0845 6060 400.

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