Thousands of people in Suffolk take 10 minutes to read in support of mental health and wellbeing

15 Oct 2021
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On Friday 8 October, over 3,500 people from schools and businesses in Suffolk took part in the National Literacy Trust’s #Take10ToRead Challenge as part of the charity’s Connecting Stories initiative with Arts Council England, proudly supported by Wesleyan.

The challenge hoped to inspire wellbeing-boosting reading habits ahead of World Mental Health Day – and to encourage participants to continue these behaviours long after the day. It comes as National Literacy Trust research* shows that more than 2 in 5 (44.6%) children say that reading makes them feel better.

At 10am on Friday 8 October, children and adults in Suffolk stopped what they were doing to pick up a book and read for 10 minutes.

Take 10 was also celebrated across the country, with more than 165,000 people picking up books, comics, magazines, or newspapers for 10 minutes. Schools, authors, publishers, and businesses shared images on social media with the hashtag #Take10ToRead inspiring their communities to get reading every day.

As part of the Connecting Stories initiative, which addresses the literacy attainment gap across the UK, school children nationwide were invited to a digital events with authors promoting their positive experiences of supporting wellbeing through reading and writing.

Primary school students were treated to a live experience with award-winning author Tom Percival, who give pupils a sneak peek of his brand new book Silas and the Marvellous Misfits, and secondary school students experienced an event with acclaimed novelist Louisa Reid, discussing her book Gloves Off.

As part of the activity, Get Suffolk Reading used the challenge to formally launch their localised activity in Haverhill, with a free storytelling event around the town centre on Saturday 2 October. More details about the event can be found on the Get Suffolk Reading website.

“After the success of our Take 10 activity in May, I’m delighted to see so many people across Suffolk getting involved with the challenge once again. Those ten minutes can tangibly boost people’s wellbeing, so whether it’s a novel, a poem, or a recipe when making dinner, I hope you all continue to take 10 moving forward.”

James Kingett, Programme Manager

“Reading has been massively important to me throughout my whole life. One of the best things about my job as an author and illustrator is when I hear that a child who maybe wasn’t so interested in reading has got into one of my books. I believe that all it takes for anyone to become a reader is finding the right book for them. “I'm really happy to be supporting the Connecting Stories and Take 10 initiative. The way I see it, encouraging young people to read is a great way of building empathy, which has never been more important. #Take10ToRead is an excellent way of reaching young people from many different communities across the UK, and it’s great to be able to support them and help foster a love of reading.”

Tom Percival, author of ‘Silas and the Marvellous Misfits’

“We were overwhelmed by the response to the National Literacy Trust’s Take 10 initiative – we really enjoyed seeing our employees all taking 10 to read and hearing about the activities led by the Birmingham Stories team who worked tirelessly engaging local businesses and schools. “Many of Wesleyan’s customers are teachers and therefore we are committed to supporting schools, children and young people who need it most”

Jessica Wilkes-Ball, Social Responsibility Lead at Wesleyan