Hospitals caring for thousands of the most vulnerable children have received a funding boost from The Shanly Foundation who have donated £5,000 to children’s literacy charity, Read for Good, to support its unique hospital programme at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford and Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading for a third year.
Read for Good’s hospital programme, established in 2010, helps to bring the magic of stories to children in all 30 of the UK’s major children’s hospitals. The programme provides a specially designed, vibrant mobile bookcase restocked with brand new books every six weeks, as well as professional storyteller visits to each hospital. Along with donations from charitable trusts, the programme is funded by children across the country taking part in Read for Good’s sponsored Readathon.
The programme has been running since 2011 at John Radcliffe Hospital, which was one of the first hospitals to join the scheme, and at Royal Berkshire Hospital since 2015. Since then the hospitals have received more than 10,000 books and over 600 hours of storytelling. Tamra Booth, Trustee, The Shanly Foundation, said: ‘ Read for Good does amazing work with thousands of children and young people hospitalised with serious or chronic illnesses in Oxford and Reading each year. The Shanly Foundation is proud to have supported Read for Good for the past three years, donating £15,000 in total to this very special programme’.
Justine Daniels, Read for Good’s chief executive, said: ‘Books are especially vital in hospital, helping children of all ages, and their families, adjust to a distressing situation. Our books and storytellers create smiles and laughter at a time when a little distraction goes a long way. As we approach the 10th anniversary of the start of our service in hospitals, we want to recognise and thank some of those generous grant-making trusts and foundations who have helped us reach that milestone. It is thanks to organisations like the Shanly Foundation that services like ours are able to flourish.’
Kate Sumner, Teacher, Royal Berkshire Hospital Reading said: ‘Read for Good provides an invaluable resource in the hospital. Children love to choose from brand new books and the range of titles is always excellent. There literally is something for everyone. When a child is feeling low, a story helps to raise their spirits and distract them from their situation. Parents often join in choosing and reading books to their children and will even sometimes read a young adult book for themselves. For a child in hospital, a great book can take them away to another world, which is often just what they need. The storyteller is the icing on the cake! Our storyteller Adele engages our children and takes them to incredible places in her stories - she is amazing! '