Peterborough Celebrates Reading


Children in Peterborough have some of the poorest literacy skills in England. Low literacy will significantly impact their lives: they will struggle at school and then with finding a job. They will be more likely to live in poverty, turn to crime and have poorer health. When they become parents, they won’t have the skills to support their own children’s learning. Without action, this cycle will continue. 

In 2014, the National Literacy Trust brought together a range of local partners in a decade-long campaign to improve literacy levels across the city, called Peterborough Reads. 

This summer, Peterborough Reads has joined forces with Peterborough City Council and Vivacity to launch ‘Peterborough Celebrates Reading’ – a year-long campaign to improve literacy levels in the city by getting children and families excited about reading. 

  • 1 in 3 (34%) children in Peterborough left primary school last year unable to read well, rising to 1 in 2 (48%) children from the city’s most disadvantaged communities
  • 1 in 8 disadvantaged children in Peterborough do not own a single book. These children are three times less likely to read above the expected level for their age than their peers who own books, and twice as likely to have low mental wellbeing.

Peterborough Celebrates Reading will help the city’s children discover a love of reading that will transform their wellbeing and futures, as well as the future of Peterborough.

Together we can find a solution

Working together with local businesses, we can engage children and families throughout the city in reading, from birth all the way through to adulthood.

Peterborough Celebrates Reading will include:

  • A city-wide trail of Book Benches decorated by children from local schools with iconic illustrations of characters from their favourite books, accompanied by themed events and activities in the hosting venues
  • Authors will run events and workshops in schools to get children excited about books and motivated to read
  • Brand new books will be gifted to children in the city’s most disadvantaged areas – for many, this will be the first book they have ever owned
  • Popular children’s illustrator Nick Sharratt will be bringing his incredible ‘Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants’ exhibition to the city, giving children and families the chance to find out more about how picture books are made and have a go at drawing their own character 
  • Two conferences for teachers to help inspire ideas and activities that will help to embed a culture of reading in their school 
  • A calendar of local events and PR activity designed to celebrate the written word and raise the profile of reading in Peterborough.

You can help change lives through reading

Thank you so much to our business supporters who are already working with us to make Peterborough Celebrates Reading a success. If you are interested in supporting the campaign, there are many ways you can get involved. Your business could:

  • Help to fund some of the many Peterborough Celebrates Reading activities
  • Volunteer with us at events, by becoming a Reading Buddy or a Literacy Champion to help families in your community or by joining one of our committees
  • Help introduce us to others who might be able to support our work

Peterborough’s low literacy levels are everyone’s business. Together, we can break the cycle and change lives.

Please contact: 

Lisa Hynes, Development Manager, National Literacy Trust, Peterborough: 

lisa.hynes@literacytrust.org.uk/

07521 266 584 

Louise Porter, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Vivacity: louise.porter@vivacity.org/

07983 343 075