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News story

Stoke Reads launches Story Quest in three new locations

23 Aug 2019

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Families in Stoke-on-Trent can now enjoy Story Quest in six locations in Burslem and Tunstall.

Launched in July, Story Quest is an initiative funded by Sport England to increase levels of literacy and physical activity in families in Stoke-on-Trent, and increase families’ confidence and motivation to read. So far over 160 families have taken part in Story Quests in Tunstall Park, Westport Lake and Burslem Park, earning themselves rewards including children’s tickets for a match day experience at Port Vale, vouchers for bike hire and exclusive family personal training sessions.

One family who has completed all three Story Quests so far has enjoyed sharing stories in a new environment:

“The stories give us the incentive to get outside and exercise as well encouraging them to read. My boys [aged nine and two] don’t really like to read but these stories are great because they have to read them to get involved and find out where to go next. The stories are really great for their age group and the little tasks along the way keep them interested. Love them!”

Families can now do Story Quests at Whitfield Valley Nature Reserve, Burslem Town Centre and Tunstall Town Centre. Every family who takes part in a trail receives free, exciting prizes including vouchers for rock climbing and holiday sports clubs. Families can sign up to take part at, or at one of five local sign-up points in Tunstall and Burslem:

  1. Barewall Gallery
  2. Tunstall Library
  3. Green Door at Westport Lake
  4. Ford Green Hall
  5. Port Vale Football Club shop

The National Literacy Trust is hosting events through the summer at each Story Quest location, in partnership with activity provider StreetGames, British Orienteering and local volunteers. Families have taken part in pop up sports with Street Games, completed orienteering challenges and taken home free books. The next event is at Ford Green Hall on Saturday 21 August, with the final event in Tunstall Town Centre on Saturday 7 September to mark the end of the summer holidays and celebrate a fantastic summer of Story Quests.

Families coming along to the final event in Tunstall Town Centre have the chance to meet Paralympian and author Danielle Brown who will lead families on Story Quest trails and speak about the importance and positive impact of physical activity. StreetGames will attend with their usual range of fun sports activities, and there will be entertaining performances from local storyteller Alan Barrett.

Several local families have attended every Story Quest event and have enjoyed something new each time:

“It gets the children out of the house, breaks up the day and is nice and active. It is also so local and a great excuse to meet up with friends and do the trail together, so it is nice and social. Because the stories are local, [my children] can relate to them more. They really enjoy the trails and love coming and joining in with the sports. [My children] love reading and they are loving the free books. The events provide a day’s entertainment because we come to the event in the morning and then they read the stories in the afternoon.”

Lois Bateman, Story Quest Project Manager, said:

“I am delighted that so many families have decided to include Story Quest as part of their summer holiday activities and look forward to meeting many more at our final events in Ford Green Hall and Tunstall Town Centre, don’t forget that you can also enjoy a Story Quest any time you like this summer by visiting one of our local sign up points. It is an absolute pleasure to see children enjoying, and engaging with the stories and, as a consequence, increasing their knowledge and appreciation of the local area.”

Lesley Adams, Burslem Park ward councillor and Story Quest volunteer, said:

“Volunteering with the Story Quest team and supporting the development of the project has been so rewarding. I have loved seeing the community come together at the weekly events and I’m really looking forward to meeting more families at the remaining summer holiday events at Ford Green Hall and Tower Square in Tunstall.”

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