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News story

We launch brand new initiative Story Quest in Stoke-on-Trent

13 Jul 2019

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On Saturday 13 July we launched Story Quest, a brand new initiative to increase levels of literacy and physical activity in families in Stoke-on-Trent, and increase families’ confidence and motivation to read.

Six story trails have been created that take families around outdoor spaces in Burslem and Tunstall. Families can join characters Josh, Yasmin, Grandpa Matt and Valiant the puppy as they hunt for treasure, meet local celebrities and travel back in time. Story Questers can complete the first three trails from Saturday 13 July, and another three will be released in August.

Story Questers earn a special prize for each trail they complete. Incentives include match day tickets, junior football club membership, vouchers for a number of local sports clubs and free books. There will also be a programme of competitions throughout the year, with even more exciting prizes. 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 project is funded by Sport England, using National Lottery funding, to get families active together through fun, free activities. Sport England’s Active Lives Survey revealed that only 54% of adults with children on a low income are active, compared to 71% of those in higher income groups. In Stoke-on-Trent, only 23% of children are active for the recommended 60 minutes daily and 30% are active for less than 30 minutes a day.

Each Story Quest location will also host a free mini festival of sport for families over the summer holidays, led by sports facilitation partner StreetGames and supported by Story Quest volunteers. These events will be held at a different Story Quest location each week. Coaches from local sports clubs will offer practical demonstrations in sports such as tennis and football, showcasing ways families can get active locally.

Over 130 local families attended a fantastic launch event on Saturday 13 July at Burslem Park, the setting of third story 'Pitch Perfect', where Yasmin goes for a youth trial at Port Vale Football Club.

The National Literacy Trust commissioned children’s author Joanne Owen to create the stories, and they have been brought alive by children’s illustrator Clare Elsom.

“Sharing stories together is a crucial way for families to boost literacy, happiness and wellbeing levels. Combining this with opportunities to get active in the great outdoors is brilliant motivation for families to spend quality time together, sharing adventures on their very own doorstep.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust

“Families have a huge amount to benefit from getting active together and as role models, parents have a key role to play. That’s why we are supporting the National Literacy Trust’s Story Quest with National Lottery funding to help parents and families overcome the barriers to regular activity."

Mike Diaper, Sport England's Executive Director for Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity

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Find out more about Story Quest.

Photography by Rebecca Yu

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