The work of a Gloucestershire charity that brings the power of books and stories to children in hospital has been boosted by an exceptionally successful BBC Radio 4 Appeal.
Read for Good’s appeal has been among the most successful campaigns in recent years, raising £58,011 for the Nailsworth-based charity including £15,000 match-funding support from National Book Tokens and the Booksellers Association.
Money raised will help Read for Good continue its service in each of the 30 UK’s major children’s hospitals – from Aberdeen to Truro and Gloucester, Belfast to Norwich – filling its bright orange, mobile bookcases with brand new books and providing storytelling sessions (in person or virtual) throughout the year.
The appeal, broadcast in February was voiced by Hannah Beynon, who shared her teenage son William’s story: recalling how Read for Good helped him cope with the fear, anxiety and isolation that came with a cancer diagnosis, gruelling treatment and lengthy hospital stays, especially during a pandemic.
Now the charity wants to raise awareness of the pandemic’s continued impact on children in hospitals, as restrictions are lifted in many other areas of everyday life.
Justine Daniels, Read for Good chief executive, said: “We know that visitor restrictions are still in place at many of the hospitals we work in, so our books continue to play an important role in providing escape, distraction and a little relief for families. We want to thank William and Hannah for their courage, time and selflessness for sharing their story, even as William’s cancer has returned.”
Read for Good’s programme in hospitals is partly funded by schools running its long-established Readathon which National Book Tokens has supported since 2013, helping children to develop a life-long love of reading by finding the books they love.
National Book Tokens Managing Director Alex de Berry said: “National Book Tokens and the Booksellers Association were incredibly proud to lend our weight to this appeal to inspire others to support this wonderful campaign. We are so pleased to hear that Read for Good’s important work in hospitals chimed with so many listeners.”