Nottingham Big Reading Challenge raises record-breaking £20,000 to send more free books to children

Nottingham City Council has raised a record-breaking £20,000 for its Big Reading Challenge this year, meaning more free books for children in the city.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 5:45 pm

Bulwell Forest councillor Cheryl Barnard (Lab), portfolio holder for children and young people, and Coun David Mellen (Lab), council leader, joined other councillors and officers, to spend a week reading to more than 1,200 children in schools, nurseries and playgroups across Nottingham.

Reading sessions also took place under the skeleton of Titus the T. rex at Wollaton Hall, in the Council House ball room and on the top deck of a Nottingham City Transport biogas bus.

Running from November 22 to November 26, this year’s challenge quadrupled its target of raising more than £5,000 for the Imagination Library in Nottingham – an amazing scheme that delivers a free book every month to local children from birth up to five years of age.

Bulwell Forest councillor Cheryl Barnard was delighted to see this year's Big Reading Challenge raise a record-breaking amount

In total, more than £20,000 was donated by the public and local businesses, including an especially generous donation of £12,500 – enough to support 100 children through the scheme – from the Domlal Foundation.

Coun Barnard said: “People have been incredibly kind to donate to this worthy cause, and we are delighted to have raised a record-breaking amount this year.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has supported the Big Reading Challenge.

“However, it’s important to remember that, although this year’s challenge is complete, regular donations are needed for the Imagination Library to continue its important work in our city.”

Supported by Nottingham Rotary Club, Small Steps Big Changes and hundreds of individual sponsors, more than 5,600 children aged between nought and five currently receive the books each month.

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Support for the Big Reading Challenge 2021 from local businesses included: Adelanta Travel Services, Arup Nottingham, Browne Jacobson LLP, Conygar, Crowne Plaza Nottingham, DHP Family, Gourmet Coffee Bar & Kitchen, Innes England, Mason Infotech, Nottingham City Business Club, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, Paragon Law, Paul Smith and Ryley Wealth Management.

Nottingham City Transport also kindly transported children from Greenfields Community School in the Meadows to a special reading session at the Council House.

Coun Mellen added: “Every year, the Big Reading Challenge highlights the importance of reading with children while raising vital funds.

"Not only does reading help with getting children ready for school, improving literacy and numeracy, it also improves their general communication skills and benefits their wellbeing.

“Please consider becoming a regular supporter of the Imagination Library, so we can continue to give Nottingham children the best start in life.”

The Imagination Library in Nottingham relies on donations to help parents and children enjoy exploring books together.

Every little helps – £2 pays for a child to get a new book, £25 pays for a new book every month for a year and £125 pays for a new book every month from birth until age five..

For more information about the Imagination Library in Nottingham, and to set up a regular donation, please visit the website here.

For more information about the Big Reading Challenge 2021, please visit the fundraising page here.