Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visits our National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough

03 Feb 2016
HRH at Peterborough Hub

On Wednesday 3 February, we were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to our National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough.

Her Royal Highness, who is our Patron, joined local school children, authors, poets and local businesses to celebrate our work to tackle low literacy levels in the area.

HRH PboroughDuring the visit, the Duchess of Cornwall attended a mini literature festival at Peterborough Cathedral with over 300 local children, which featured storytelling and poetry sessions led my author Guy Bass and poet Francesca Beard. Her Royal Highness presented certificates to the winners of our creative writing competition Our Stories, which celebrates the cultural diversity of Peterborough.

The visit continued at Boots Opticians in Peterborough, where The Duchess met staff and beneficiaries of our partnership with Boots Opticians, which highlights the links between eye health and literacy. Her Royal Highness then joined partners, funders, volunteers and families at a reception hosted at Peterborough Town Hall to share the Hub’s stories and successes.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said:

“We are delighted to have Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visit and support our work in our Peterborough Hub. The area in which a child grows up has a powerful impact on their life chances. By mobilising the community through forging partnerships with a range of stakeholders as we do through our Hub approach, we can unlock literacy skills in new and innovative ways. We are looking forward to building on the vital partnerships we have made in Peterborough with a range of local organisations, businesses, individuals and services who have shown such dedication to raising the literacy skills in their community.”

Sally Atkinson, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough said:

“So many families and children in Peterborough have been reached by strengthening links in the community, building on all the hard work going on in the preschool sector, schools and children’s centres in Peterborough. It has been fantastic to see this city come together in support of the Peterborough Hub, an initiative making a sustainable difference to the learning outcomes and employability of the city’s next generation.”

To gain inspiration for the Our Stories creative writing competition, children used Skype to interview international authors, Tutu Dutta and Joyce Chng who write stories based on their home countries of Singapore and Malaysia. The children  then penned pieces which vividly describe the fascinating heritage, customs and festivals which are unique to the cultures represented in Peterborough. The three winners were:

First prize: The Basant Festival by Ali Ejaz Abbas, aged 11at St Thomas More Primary

Second prize: The Hen and the Golden Eggs by Kiddya Da Silva, aged 10 years Beeches Primary School

Third prize: St Lucia Day by Ladislav Makula, aged 10 at Abbotsmede Primary School

The Hub is one of three National Literacy Trust Hubs in the UK piloting area-based innovative approaches to breaking the cycle of intergenerational low literacy. Run by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Peterborough City Council, the Hub is supported with funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The Hub works with a variety of education, sporting, cultural, faith, business, media and voluntary partners on programmes and activities that improve literacy and focus on the groups that need help the most.