Peterborough scheme to give the gift of reading this Christmas

This Christmas Peterborough Reads, a local literacy campaign delivered by the National Literacy Trust and the city council, has launched a initiative to give the gift of reading to children aged nine to 11.

By Joel Lamy
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 9:10 am

Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that 45,000 children in the East of England do not own a single book of their own, meaning that thousands are missing out on the benefits of reading including improved attainment at school and better wellbeing.

This is felt most acutely in Peterborough as research shows that the city has the greatest literacy need in the region, with six wards in the top decile for greatest literacy vulnerability.

Peterborough Reads is asking individuals to buy and wrap a new book and drop it at the Peterborough branch of Metro Bank by Thursday, December 3.

You can give the gift of reading this Christmas

The books need to be suitable for children aged nine to 11 and there is a list of suggested titles on the Peterborough Reads website -

The scheme is also open to businesses, and those interested in organising a corporate book collection should contact Lisa Hynes at [email protected]

For many of the children involved in the scheme the book they are gifted will be their first.

Sally Atkinson, manager for Peterborough Reads, said: “Members of the public often ask us how they can help our work, especially during lockdown. This is a really easy way to make a big difference in a child’s life whilst also spreading festive cheer.

“We ran a survey during the initial lockdown which showed that lots of children have been using reading as a way to make them feel better and one in three say they enjoy reading more. We want to make sure that every child in Peterborough can enjoy the benefits of reading and this is the way to do it. Thank you to everyone who donates a book.”

To find out more about Peterborough Reads, or how to contribute to the scheme and where to send the books, visit or the campaign’s Facebook page.