Almost £3,500 has been donated to Manchester Central Library Development Trust’s cash appeal to support Read Manchester and Manchester Libraries Book Gifting Campaign – to provide books directly to vulnerable families across the city.
The appeal on the Just Giving website, which ran over the festive period, has extended in to the new year as the Trust push on towards the target of raising £5,000. Stephen Sorrell, Chair of Manchester Central Library Development Trust said:
“We are very grateful for all the donations, many extremely generous, since the appeal was launched over the festive period. Those funds are helping to get books and educational resources to children at this critical time for their learning.
Research from the first lockdown showed that access to books had a direct impact on reading behaviour. Children and young people who did not have their own books, or access to books they liked, read less frequently than before the first lockdown. Therefore, it is vitally important as we enter a new year and a new lockdown, that we continue to appeal for funds to support the Read Manchester Book Gifting campaign.
If you haven’t donated to the fundraising appeal already you can still do so via our Just Giving appeal page. Thank you”
Those who have already donated to the appeal can rest assured their funds are being put to good use. As part of Read Manchester’s campaign over Christmas, 7,000 books were sent to Gorton Library where they were sorted by library staff and distributed to 60 local organisations, including foodbanks, community groups, Sure Start Children’s Centres and organisations supporting homeless families, to give books to the children they help. The scheme is part of the city’s effort to reduce barriers to reading for the city’s children, after a National Literacy Trust survey in July 2020 found that nearly 60 per cent of children used reading to help them feel better and 50 per cent to help them envisage a better future.
The new national lockdown has meant Manchester Libraries are either temporarily closed or offering a much limited service. This will further increase children’s barriers to reading, with a disproportionate effect on vulnerable families, who have no access to computers and the Internet, or only limited Wi-Fi access. This makes hard copy book resources become even more essential if the gap in attainment and opportunity is not to widen even further.
If you can, please support this initiative via the Trust’s Just Giving Appeal page.
By donating to the appeal you will be helping to get books and resources to children and families in Manchester who need them most