A new initiative from the Read Manchester campaign is inspiring the city to embrace the mood-boosting benefits of reading for 10 minutes every day. Take 10 encourages residents of all ages to start a daily reading habit and celebrates the positive effects of reading for pleasure, including its power to help you relax and escape from the pressures of everyday life.
Our recent research found that children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to have good mental wellbeing than children who don’t. Among adults, research has found that regular readers for pleasure are less likely to experience feelings of stress and depression than non-readers.[i]
Launched on World Mental Health Day (10/10), a range of events took place to celebrate the Take 10 initiative and kick-start daily reading across the city:
- The Lord Mayor joined an event at Manchester Central Library, where young people from Manchester’s Writing Squad unveiled their Take 10-inspired writing as part of the prestigious Manchester Literature Festival.
- Hosted by property company Bruntwood, local businesses came together to support Take 10 and learn about the Feeling Good collection - 20 mood-boosting books about common mental health conditions, which 10 businesses will offer to their staff in a pilot project.
- 16 representatives from Manchester Airport colleagues each read a copy of the airport’s new 80th birthday book, Reach for the Sky, to a class of children at Haveley Hey Primary School and gave each pupil a copy of the book to take home.
- Children's centres gifted books from Read Manchester to parents and hosted special sessions where parents and children read together for 10 minutes.
- Loreto High School held a whole-school assembly about young people’s health and mental wellbeing, and introduced the Shelf Help collection from the Reading Agency, which will be available in the school library. Read Manchester is supporting nine schools with this collection.
- 13 libraries across the city have re-launched their Shelf Help collections to mark National Libraries Week (8 – 13 October), which this year is wellbeing-themed.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, said:
"With reports of rising numbers of children and young people experiencing poor mental health, our Take 10 campaign has never been more timely.
"Research shows that reading just for ten minutes a day can make a real difference to our mood and how we feel, helping us relax and escape from everyday pressures.
"We're therefore encouraging all young people in the city - along with everyone else - to 'take 10' and get the reading habit to help improve their longer term mental health."
National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas said:
“We are delighted to launch the exciting Take 10 initiative in Manchester to celebrate the huge benefits that regular reading can bring to both children and adults. We know that reading for just 10 minutes a day is enough to have impact on a child’s learning. Now, our new report highlights how the benefits of reading go beyond attainment, helping children to feel happier and more satisfied with their lives.”
Schools, children’s centres, businesses and other local organisations are encouraged to support the initiative and encourage reading for 10 minutes every day. Ideas and inspiration can be found on our Read Manchester page.
[i] Billington, J (2015) Reading between the Lines: The Benefits of Reading for Pleasure