We're thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund for our “Whose books are these anyway?” project, which will support social impact in the region.

The grant of £89,000, will allow us to work with schools in the North East to trial new ways of exploring our Collection of original archives that document how children’s books have been written and produced over almost 100 years, and also the development and testing of new digital resources for schools. 

Kris McKie, Head of Collections, explains:

We’re thrilled to be recipients of this prestigious grant and to have the backing of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for furthering our work in the community with local schools. This project will allow us to co-curate our Collection - which includes material from over 250 children’s authors and illustrators – with young people and help them to interrogate and shape the landscape of children’s books with our expert team by their sides. 

“We know that stories fuel children’s imaginations as well as developing their speech, reading and writing skills but they also have a powerful empathetic effect too, helping children to understand the world around them - as well as each other - which is more important than ever in these uncertain times. We’re really looking forward to getting started.”

Sarah Briggs, Collections Development Officer at the Museums Association - from where the Fund is awarded - said:

“We’re thrilled to be able to support this great project from Seven Stories who have so consistently demonstrated the potential for museum collections to have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Wendy, Interim CEO at Seven Stories, adds:

“Our Collection is at the heart of everything we do at Seven Stories, and making sure that it can be appreciated and inspiring to as many people as possible is a priority. This grant will allow us to make it accessible in even more ways and for even more people, and we are so grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund for their support. We believe that stories are for everyone, and that the stories in our Collection - both in the books and surrounding their creation - should be shared as widely as possible to support young people’s development, and of course, enjoyment too.”

The “Whose books are these anyway?” project will form part of a 2-year programme of work with children and young people from six North East schools between Easter and Summer 2022.


More about the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund is run by the Museums Association, funding projects that develop collections to achieve social impact. Since its launch in 2011, it has awarded 162 projects with grants totaling over £11 million. 

W: https://www.museumsassociation.org/funding/esmee-fairbairn-collections-fund/  


More about the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve our natural world, secure a fairer future and strengthen the bonds in communities in the UK. They unlock change by contributing everything they can alongside people and organisations with brilliant ideas who share the Foundation’s goals.

The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. In 2020, they provided £53.5m in grant funding towards work in support of their aims and their emergency response to COVID. They also have a £45 million allocation to social investments for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.

W: www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk