We’ve just has our summer Trustees meeting, and considered lots of strong grant applications all aiming to encourage the joy of reading in various innovative and exciting ways. Trustees decided to support a number of initiatives large and small and exciting and in a wide range of locations throughout the UK. We’ve now funded projects in: Lanarkshire, Belfast, Blaenau Gwent, Bootle, the Wirrall, Oxford, Plymouth, North Yorkshire, Southwark, Croydon, Leeds, Ireland plus schools all over the country!
Watch this space for news of the Autumn School Libraries competition which is designed to give 3 winning schools a boost of cash and expertise for their library…
The new grants made are:
£15,000 for a new campaign supporting School Libraries. This will be a competition run with the Schools Library Association to provide an injection of funding and expertise to school libraries in need of a makeover. This will be launched in the autumn and will mean one grant of £6,000 and two grants of £3,000 plus consultations with a trained librarian to the schools that demonstrate the most need for help. Watch this website or twitter (@sdowdtrust) for further details in September!
£5,000 to Reading Force, which runs book groups for families in the armed services. This can be linking the kids and their Mum and Dad away on active service through reading the same book. £3,500 is going to support a large group in Plymouth and £1,500 to help set up a new group in North Yorkshire. Crucially, our support means Reading Force can claim match funding, so our £5,000 will bring in another £5,000 from elsewhere.
£5,000 to support book buying at the new Bootle Children’s Book Festival. Their aim is to give every child in Bootle a book of their choice.
£2,000 worth of new books to the Leeds Children’s Charity which runs short residential breaks in Cumbria for disadvantaged kids from Leeds. The list of the problems their children come to them with includes poverty, abuse, neglect, domestic violence and many are also young carers, so they clearly fit the criteria in Siobhan’s will, i.e. ‘spreading the joy of reading to those that need it most’.
£1,000 worth of new books for a primary school in Blaenau, Gwent that approached us for a possible one-off book donation. This is exactly the kind of school that our School Library Competition with the SLA is designed to help, but the Trustees felt the letter from a Volunteer Mum demonstrated exactly the kind of need we should be addressing, so we are putting together a selection of new books to arrive in time for lending during the summer holidays.
£2,000 funding for 10th Anniversary film of Letterbox, the scheme that sends books to children in care. The Siobhan Dowd Trust funded a pilot project for sending books to teenagers, one of the first grants we ever gave.
Funding for extending Readwell to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast, initially for one year. Readwell is a charity that provides books and storyteller visits to children ill in hospital. Every term over 200 new books arrive in the wards for the use of patients and their siblings.