Manchester’s Christmas book gifting appeal returns for third year

The book gifting campaign has distributed over 150,000 books to Mancunian children since March 2020.

The Christmas book gifting appeal is run by Manchester City Council, Read Manchester and the Manchester Central Library Development Trust. The annual appeal gifts new books to children from low socio-economic backgrounds from all over the city so that they can experience the beauty of reading and enjoy owning their own book. 

In addition, the scheme aims to encourage children to stay reading over the Christmas holidays, whilst they’re not at school as well as helping them develop vital literacy  and communication skills.   

In previous years, over 150,000 books have been gifted to children from a wide range of authors and over £6,000 has been raised.  This year, the campaign hopes to raise more money so Manchester City Council and its partners can work to help children and young people discover the joy of reading.   

To donate to the campaign please visit:  

Councillor John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure said:  

“Getting children into reading is very important to us. Through this scheme children who may not own their own books will get to experience the joy of owning a book that is entirely theirs.  

“Now more than ever it is vital that we support vulnerable residents in our communities. This winter, children risk bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis as parents struggle to provide just the essentials like heat, food or light. This is why it's so important we support local children through this period.  

 "Through this unique partnership, we are working to supply free new books to families who otherwise would not be able to afford them, ensuring that children are able to keep enjoying the benefits of reading which we know are vital to their early and continued development." 

 Brendan O’Shea, Chair of Manchester Central Library Development Trust said: 

“Many of us are struggling with the cost of living crisis, but it’s important, more than ever, to help those far less fortunate than ourselves who can really benefit from our goodwill. Just £10 could provide two brand new books for a struggling family this Christmas.” 

Victoria Collier, Deputy Head and English Lead, Old Moat Primary School said:  

 “A number of our children arrive at school with a very limited vocabulary, and many come from backgrounds where families just don't share books. Poverty is an underlying factor for so many of our families and with the cost of living crisis, it's harder than ever for them to find the money to spend on books.  

“Shockingly, when a book club was run in school at Christmas time last year, only four of our families were able to buy books for their children. So when brand new gifted books were brought into school by Read Manchester, it made a huge difference - there was a buzz about reading and the children loved sharing and talking about their new books.  Libraries are an amazing resource, but every child deserves to smell, feel and read a brand new book that belongs to them, and them alone.” 

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