Performing arts directors become literacy champions for Swindon

By Barrie Hudson - 30 March 2022

  • Laura Barnes, left, and Fi Da Silva Adams

    Laura Barnes, left, and Fi Da Silva Adams

Swindon-based Revolution Performing Arts (RPA) now has two accredited Literacy Champions to further the work of the National Literacy Trust.

RPA is one of the South West’s leading performing arts companies for children and young people, while the National Literacy Trust is an independent charity working with schools and communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills to succeed in life. 

The Swindon Stories hub is part of a 10 year project to promote literacy in Swindon by involving volunteers – Literacy Champions – to promote reading for pleasure within the community.

Fiona Da Silva Adams, founder of RPA, and Laura Barnes, artistic director of the related organisation RPA Rapport CIC, have both been trained to become Literacy Champions themselves – to help equip children and young people with their literacy skills.

Laura said: “Becoming Literacy Champions allows us to support the literacy of 400 young people that we are currently working with and actively encourage in them a love of reading. We are already seeing a direct impact, as we are able to promote good literacy by giving all our young people a book of their choice absolutely free!”

Swindon Stories will set challenges and tasks relating to literacy that RPA can engage their young people in. The next challenge will be to ask the young people what their favourite book is and who their favourite character is in that book.

“Fiona and I are absolutely delighted to be able to use our roles as Literacy Champions to add to what we can already offer the young people that we are working with at RPA and RPA Rapport,” said Laura. 

“We are fortunate to so often see the creative and vast imaginations of the children at RPA and know that encouraging their love of stories will only enhance this further.”

In November 2010, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall became the Patron of The National Literacy Trust and has offered her support to ensure children and adults across the UK have the literacy skills they need for a happier, healthier and more prosperous life.

Eight council wards in Swindon are in the most deprived 10 percent nationally, and last year 41 percent of the most disadvantaged students in Swindon left primary school unable to read well. Not being able to read, write or communicate well holds children and adults back at every stage of their life from school to their jobs market.

More information about RPA can be found at

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