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News story

Over 600 books gifted to local families at Get Suffolk Reading, Stowmarket launch

27 Jan 2022


On Saturday 22 January Get Suffolk Reading officially launched its activity in Stowmarket with a day of storytelling workshops and book gifting to people in the community. Two different workshops were available, titled:

  • Making story spells - conjuring tales from nowhere: Recommended for children aged 7-11
  • Imagination sparks - finding inspiration to write stories: Recommended for young people 12+ and adults

40 adults and children took part in the storytelling workshops led by local creative Lynn Whitehead and all attendees left with a free charm and a Get Suffolk Reading goodie bag, including a free book. Alongside these workshops, Get Suffolk Reading hosted a book gifting stall at Stowmarket market, with storytellers on hand throughout the day to entertain families.

One workshop attendee said: “It was a magical experience for the children and was lovely to hear all the children's stories”

A second attendee said: “What a lovely idea of making their own story spell. My son was very engaged and didn't put his book down all around the town! He loves books anyway, but this was a super extra hook, which I am sure he will talk about and share for days to come.”

Over 600 books were gifted to families who attended the workshops or visited the marquee throughout the day. As a result of the launch several individuals and organisations have put themselves forward to be Literacy Champions in Stowmarket. This is a voluntary role where you can help with book gifting, setting up community bookshelves, and other activity to inspire families to read together. If you are interested in getting involved please email

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting local families and witnessing children engaging with both the workshops and their free books. It’s fantastic to hear so many people excited about the campaign and I can’t wait to start planning our next event! Huge thanks goes to each of our amazing community partners and volunteers who helped make the day such a success.”

Sarah Maidment, Stowmarket Project Manager

Thank you to everyone who got involved with the launch including:

  • BSEVC who loaned Get Suffolk Reading their rickshaw for the event and supported on the day
  • Stowmarket High School’s English department, who provided two volunteers to support at the book gifting marquee and in the workshops
  • ASDA Community Champion Emma who volunteered at our book gifting marquee
  • Stowmarket Library manager Ursula who read stories to families throughout the day
  • The Mix and the Museum of East Anglian Life for allowing Get Suffolk Reading to use their venues for the workshops
  • Market Warden Jerry for gifting Get Suffolk Reading with space for the marquee and helped the team to set-up and pack away
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