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The Life of Cecil Jackson-Cole

Assembly to accompany the book ‘A World of Difference’ by Bob Hartman, delivered free to schools in October 2017

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To consider the life of Cecil Jackson-Cole.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the book A World of Difference by Bob Hartman, delivered free to schools in October 2017. The story of Cecil Jackson-Cole can be found on pages 85-91.

  • You will need an image of Cecil Jackson-Cole and the means to display it during the assembly. An example is available at:

  • Have available the following images and the means to display them during the assembly:

    - various charity shops, available at:
    - an Oxfam shop, available at:

  • You will also need some clothes of different sizes, preferably baby, child and adult sizes.


  1. Show the children the clothes of different sizes.

    Ask the children who they think would wear each item.

  2. Ask the children if they have ever had a favourite item of clothing that they felt disappointed about when they grew too big to wear it any longer.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  3. Ask the children what they do with clothes that they can no longer wear, or other items that they no longer need.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Answers might include storing them for when they fit their younger siblings, selling them on eBay, throwing them out or (hopefully) giving them to a charity shop.

  4. Show the image of various charity shops.

    Ask the children if they have ever visited a charity shop.

    Explain that charity shops sell clothes, furniture, books, DVDs and many other items. People take used items that they no longer need to a charity shop. The shop sells the used items and gives the money to the charity that it supports.

  5. Show the image of Cecil Jackson-Cole.

    Explain that Cecil Jackson-Cole was the person who opened the very first charity shop. This shop became known as Oxfam and it is still running today.

  6. Show the image of an Oxfam shop.
  7. Read the story of Cecil Jackson-Cole found in the book A World of Difference, pages 85-91.

Time for reflection

Most people will never have heard of Cecil Jackson-Cole. He is not a famous celebrity or a face that most people will recognize. However, he worked hard behind the scenes and, as the story tells us, he was responsible for setting up all sorts of projects that helped many people. Many of the projects he began are still helping others today.

Many people dream of being famous. However, it’s important to remember that we don’t need to be rich or famous to make a difference to the world. We can all make a difference to those around us every day.

Dear God,
Thank you for people like Cecil Jackson-Cole.
Thank you for people who work hard without becoming rich and famous.
Thank you for people who do amazing things to help others, even though their efforts are not well known.
Please help us to be willing to help others, even when no one else is watching.
Please help us to care about the world and to put our concerns into action.

Further resources

Further resources can be found at:

- Cecil Jackson-Cole - description

- Cecil Jackson-Cole - when I grow up

- Cecil Jackson-Cole - discussion questions

- Cecil Jackson-Cole - extra activities

More resources about Cecil Jackson-Cole are available at:

Publication date: October 2017   (Vol.19 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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