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Nottingham Labour

Big Reading Challenge 2024 finishes

Cllrs Mellen and Barnard reading to Children in a classroom

Nottingham Labour’s 2024 Big Reading Challenge for the Nottingham Imagination Library finished last week. Under the leadership of Councillor David Mellen and Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education Councillor Cheryl Barnard, the challenge has regularly taken place in order to raise money to provide an age-appropriate book a month to children from birth to five years old.

David and Cheryl in gazebo at the castle
Cllrs Mellen and Cllr Barnard at Big Reading Challenge launch

This year, we beat our target raising £2,280 with councillors reading to over 2,500 children across the city, as well as at Nottingham Castle and the new Central Library. These readings were great fun for the children and are key to helping raise extra funds for the Nottingham Imagination Library.

Since 2019 more than 500,000 books have been given out to over 10,000 children across the city, helping to increase child literacy and inspire a lifelong love of learning.

Through the Big Reading weeks since 2019, Nottingham Labour raised over £35,000, reading to over 15,000 children. This was only possible through the hard work of Cllr’s Mellen and Barnard, as well as all the other councillors who took part over the years; and of course all those who donated, which included some of Nottingham’s biggest business’ and organisations over the years.

Cllr Jones reading to class of children

Around £2.16 pays for a child to get a free book, meaning that over 16,200 books have been given out via the Big Reading Challenge over the years. £130 pays for one child to get a book each month from birth until five years old, meaning that through the Big Reading Challenge 269children will have received books for every month.

These books are so important for children in our city, the reading may have stopped but the fundraiser is still open, so please donate: Not just because it is an election pledge to give books to 2,000 more children a month, but because inspiring children at an early age to enjoy reading, will lead to a lifetime of enjoying books and all the possibilities, stories and knowledge that reading helps to access.

You can find out more about the work of the Nottingham Imagination Library at