Not Just a Princess Announces Charity Partnership

Not Just a Princess Announces Charity Partnership withSpecial Olympics Ireland and Down Syndrome IrelandDublin dad Gavin Leonard has created a new book featuring ‘Nora’, a Special Olympicsathlete, with all proceeds from sales to be donated to the Irish organisationsNot Just a Princess, which launched a six-book series earlier this year, will release a new titlein October with all proceeds from the sale of the book donated to charity. The book will,once again, feature Princess Jade on a mission to make the world a better place. On thisadventure she will be joined by a new character, Special Olympics athlete and lifeguard,Nora. The culturally diverse and inclusive books series, aimed at empowering young girls,has already sold over 6,000 copies worldwide and creator Gavin is hoping that the newcharity book can raise some serious funds for charity while raising awareness of bothorganisations.

Gavin said: “We have had such amazing support over the last 12 months and we reallywanted to do something to give back to the community – a charity book seemed like theperfect way to do just that! I’m so pleased to feature ‘Nora’, a Special Olympics athlete, inthis book alongside Princess Jade. The character is based on my second cousin, Nora, whospeaks Chinese and English. Our families have been close for a long time and watching Noragrow up I have been always been so amazed at her determination and her kind heart.”“The full details of the story will remain under wraps until the launch in October, but I’mconfident that Not Just a Princess supporters will be delighted with the latest instalment inthe series. We are hoping to raise €20,000 and want all of Ireland to get behind the initiativefor these brilliant organisations.”The Dublin dad-of-one originally created the series after searching for empowering storiesto read to his then 2-year-old daughter, Jade. What he found was limited and so he decidedto create his own army of princesses for his daughter. Each princess has a unique set of skillsand, along with her animal sidekick, helps people to solve problems. The concept behind thebooks is to highlight strong role models for young girls and boys and to break away fromtraditional gender stereotypes with stories that are made for everyone.

Gary Owens, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland, said: “Down syndrome should not define whoa person is and what they can do and achieve and the ‘Not Just a Princess’ book reallyreflects that. As people with Down syndrome are given opportunities to lead more inclusivelives, we see more and more what they can achieve, and we are very proud to be part of that journey. We’re so grateful to Gavin and the ‘Not Just a Princess’ team for highlighting thatpeople with Down syndrome are people first and foremost and for supporting DownSyndrome Ireland in the process.”Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland, said: “It’s fantastic that the lead character inthe book, Nora, is based on a Special Olympics athlete. We continue to see the importantrole that sport plays in celebrating children and athletes with an intellectual disability. Sportprovides athletes like Nora with new skills, increased confidence, fitness and lifelong friends.This book is a great way to speak to a younger audience in their own language and tocontinue pushing the messaging of diversity and inclusion. We’re delighted to be involved!”Gavin added: “It is a dream come true to partner with Special Olympics Ireland and DownSyndrome Ireland – my hope is to sell as many books as possible and raise as much money aswe can for these two fantastic organisations.”

In March more than €10,000 was raised during a Kickstarter campaign to make the project areality. Since then more than 6,000 books have been sold in Ireland, the UK and the USA.


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Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at


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