Did you know that 1 in 8 of the most disadvantaged children in the North East of England doesn't have a book of their own? Author Michael Morpurgo, best known for children’s novels such as War Horse and The Butterfly Lion is lending his support to Seven Stories Christmas Send a Story campaign by launching the scheme at a special event on Saturday 7 December at 5.30pm.

Michael Morpurgo said: “If you give children a love of story, the rest will follow. Seven Stories is helping to get great books to where they are needed most - into the hands of children. Your support can help a North East child discover their love of reading this Christmas.” 

Book lovers are being invited to listen to Michael as he talks about the transformational role books can play in children’s lives, discover more about the inspiration behind his book Grandpa’s Christmas illustrated by Jim Field (Egmont) and hear Michael reading his story.

Amanda Beckham, Fundraising & Development Manager at Seven Stories said:

Getting books into the hands of children who need them most and helping them discover a love of reading is at the very heart of our Send a Story campaign. By showing their support people can help a North East child discover their love of reading this Christmas.”

Each year, over 25,000 children and young people take part in Seven Stories’ outreach and engagement work in local communities. This Christmas, by partnering with children’s centres and schools in East and West of Newcastle; local hospitals and hospices; and looked-after children's services, the Send a Story campaign hopes to give books to hundreds of children in the North East who need them the most.

The types of projects that will benefit from this initiative include babies and their carers who attend Seven Stories creative story sessions at Byker Sands Community Family Hub; Families Reading Together, a project working with North East Dads and Lads in Gateshead supporting young dads with literacy skills helping to build their confidence to enjoy stories together with their children; as well as work with Play Specialist at the Great North Children’s Hospital sharing stories which bring joy and distraction with children spending time in hospital.

Individuals can take part in the campaign by donating £10 via Seven Stories website to give a disadvantaged child their first book or visit Seven Stories bookshop to be inspired by its festive selection and purchase a book to be gifted as part of the scheme.

Local businesses can also get involved by donating £600 which will see a Seven Stories Hooks into Books pack filled with lots of brand new books and fun activities gifted to a North East school. The pack, which aims to get children reading and buzzing about books, will be introduced to the school by a special visit from a member of Seven Stories learning team.

For more information about Seven Stories Christmas Send a Story campaign and the special launch event visit https://www.sevenstories.org.uk/support-us/send-a-story

Notes to Editors

Saturday 7 December, 5.30pm

Send a Story Campaign Launch with special guest, author Michael Morpurgo
Join Author Michael Morpurgo, best known for children’s novels such as War Horse, as he launches Seven Stories Christmas Send a Story campaign. Listen to Michael as he talks about the transformational role books can play in children’s lives, discover more about the inspiration behind his book Grandpa’s Christmas illustrated by Jim Field (Egmont) and listen to Michael read the book.

Tickets: £12, which includes a book donation to our Send a Story campaign, £2 without a donation
Duration: 1 hour
Link: https://www.sevenstories.org.uk/whats-on/events/941/send-a-story-campaign-launch-with-special-guest-author-michael-morpurgo