It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Sally Goldsworthy from cancer in June. Sally was a long-standing member of Hands-On! and had worked in the field of children’s art and theatre for many years, most recently as Chief Executive of Discover, London’s only children’s museum, based in Newham, one of the city’s most deprived and diverse boroughs.
Sally was a real believer in the potential of children’s museums to change lives and since 2003 she had applied her creative flair and boundless energy to make Discover an extraordinary place for children to learn to love the power of words, to use their imaginations to create stories, and to appreciate literature.
Sally did change lives, not only for the families and children who were fortunate enough to visit Discover, but for her many friends and colleagues as well. Sally worked with and supported dozens of artists, writers, actors, designers and illustrators over the course of her career. Filled with enthusiasm, inspiration, wisdom and curiosity, Sally was always eager to meet with colleagues to share ideas around new exhibitions and programmes, the challenges of fundraising and the seasonal ups and downs in visitor numbers. In addition to her role at Discover, Sally was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a board member of the Cell Science Centre at Queen Mary University, London, and the Polka Theatre.
Sally’s death leaves a gap for all of us who work with children in arts, culture and museums. But those of us who knew her will long remember her vibrancy, beaming smile and commitment to our field and her legacy will live on for years to come.