Seven Stories stuck their oar in at Dragon Boat Race fundraiser

Seven Stories, First Class Supply and Unwritten Creative were all in the same boat this weekend to raise essential funds to enhance the National Centre’s visitor experience for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Despite valiant efforts, the Seven Stories Slayers did not make the Dragon Boat final.  However, after making great improvements over three tough races, the team were victorious in their mission to remain afloat.

In a surprising twist, the team of colleagues and sponsors were delighted to be awarded the All-female Team prize despite two of the crew not fitting the prerequisites of that category! 

With boatloads of determination and plenty of willingness to learn, Seven Stories, Unwritten and First Class Supply were proud of their efforts and delighted to take part in the event excellently organised by North East Rotary.

The Dragon Boat Race, held at Hetton Lyons Country Park, provided more than just a chance to learn a new skill. Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books took part to raise money to enhance their growing SEND offer. Over the past few years, the organisation has committed to enrich its visitor experience and provide the warmest welcome for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and their families. 

Kate Edwards, Seven Stories Slayers crew member and Chief Executive at Seven Stories says, “We want to be able to open our doors more flexibly and to continue to provide more opportunities for SEND children and their families to think of Seven Stories as a second home. This means that we create our exhibitions, programmes and facilities to be inclusive and accessible.  All funds raised from this weekend’s Dragon Boat Race will help our determined team of mighty Seven Stories Slayers to be able to do more and even better!”

To support Seven Stories, the public can still make donations via its website: or by texting READ07 followed by a space and a donation amount, up to £10 per text, to 70070*.

The Dragon Boat Race coincides with the launch of Seven Stories regular, monthly Early Bird Opening which starts on Saturday 6th August. The model was trialled with great success by the organisation in March 2016 as part of Disability Awareness Day.  Every first Saturday of the month from 6th August, the Visitor Centre will open early between 9am-10am to allow families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities a chance to avoid the hustle and bustle which can often be overwhelming.

Early Bird Opening also ensures families have a quieter visit to the Seven Stories Café where they can explore food using all their senses with hands-on activities.

Families are invited to take part in a bespoke, relaxed story time at 10am as part of the regular Early Bird programme.  These sessions offer accessible ways to spark imagination and allow families to share stories together by experimenting with a variety of tactile props and sounds.

For more information about Early Bird Opening or about how Seven Stories can support your visit, click here.

Seven Stories would like to thank their generous Dragon Boat sponsors and fellow Dragon Boat crew Unwritten Creative and First Class Supply.

The Seven Stories team joined other charities, organisations and local businesses in the Dragon Boat race, which is organised by North East Rotary. The club provided an experienced (and patient) helm to expertly steer Seven Stories through the experience.

Future Staff Training Days will now involve a seminar in Dragon Boat Racing 101 to ensure the Seven Stories Slayers return with precision and striking synchronicity for next year’s festival. 


Media Contact

For images, quotes or interviews, please contact:

Hannah Lambert – Marketing and Digital Coordinator

Seven Stories, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle NE1 2PQ

T: 0300 330 1095 ext 223


Notes to the editor:

Seven Stories is The National Centre for Children’s Books – the only place in Britain dedicated to saving, celebrating and sharing our rich literary heritage for children. Seven Stories’ opened in 2005 and visitors can explore seven floors of galleries, creative spaces, a specialist children’s bookshop and a café. Everything Seven Stories does uses children’s books to inspire children and grown-ups to be curious, imaginative and creative. It strives to encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to enjoy a lifetime of reading for pleasure through inventive and immersive exhibitions and lively events and learning programmes.

*To support Seven Stories you can donate:

via the website

via Big Give

Text READ07 followed by a space and your donation amount to 70070. Maximum donation using this service is £10 per text. All texts are free of charge, regardless of your network, so you will only be charged the donation amount.

First Class Supply

First Class Supply is a leading independent teaching supply agency in the North East who provide invaluable support to Seven Stories through an exclusive education sponsorship programme. The partnership enables Seven Stories to continue to broaden engagement with children in the region.

Find out more on their website:


Unwritten Creative is a leading design agency based in the North East. Unwritten use design to help marketers and business owners improve customer experience.  They build brand identities, create marketing literature and develop responsive websites.

Find out more on their website: