Over a thousand Swindon people take part in #Take10ToRead challenge

By Jessica Durston - 14 October 2022

  • Natalie Costa

    Natalie Costa

Over 1,400 people across Swindon took part in the National Literacy Trust’s #Take10ToRead challenge, for World Mental Health Day.

The event took place on Monday 10 October at 10am, and alongside the huge number of Swindon people taking part, were Jordan Stephens, Beth Suzanna and Natalie Costa.

The campaign, delivered locally by Swindon Stories, aims to promote the link between reading for pleasure and positive mental wellbeing. It encourages everyone to drop everything and read for ten minutes to boost their mood.

Nearly 700 children from local schools and early years’ settings tuned into a digital event with author and performer Jordan Stephens, and illustrator Beth Suzanna, who read their book The Missing Piece (Bloomsbury Children’s Books).

The duo discussed how they created the story together, sharing their favourite moments, and encouraged children to take time to choose their own favourite words and pictures.

A further 730 children aged 7 – 12 years tuned into a second virtual event with Natalie Costa, author of Love Being You, and Know Your Feelings (b small publishing).

In this event, Natalie discussed the creative process behind her books and encouraged children to take part in the Chase Rewarding Futures Reading Zone Challenge, before going on to share her top tips for looking after our minds.

She then called upon all attendees to spend ten minutes following the event for self-led reading time.

As well as the school events, Swindon Stories motivated partners across the town to #Take10ToRead, ranging from libraries, youth groups and even Swindon Town Football Club, where coaches took part in the challenge on social media.

Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that reading can be an effective way of helping people to take care of their mental health and wellbeing. The Trust says it only takes ten minutes a day to see the benefits, including boosting mood, reducing stress levels and improving memory and concentration.

Jordan Stephens and Beth Suzanna said: “We are thrilled to be supporting Take 10. In these difficult times, encouraging children to read and explore the world through different means has never been more important. #Take10ToRead is an excellent way of reaching children and families from many different communities across the UK, we are delighted to be able to support them and help nurture a love of reading.” 

Anish Harrison at the National Literacy Trust said: “It’s fantastic to see that over 1,400 children in Swindon joined our incredible authors and illustrators, Jordan Stephens, Beth Suzanna and Natalie Costa to complete the #Take10ToRead challenge on World Mental Health Day.

"Taking just ten minutes to read every day can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing and I hope that people across Swindon have been inspired to read for pleasure today and every day moving forward.”

Swindon Stories is a hub from the National Literacy Trust, which brings together partners across the town to improve literacy levels and promote reading, writing, speaking and listening. They are inviting everyone to share their Take 10 challenge on social media by using the hashtag #Take10ToRead.

The #Take10ToRead challenge is part of the National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign, supported by Arts Council England.

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