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Public voting opens for new reading scheme for children in Devon

By October 4, 2019January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs Devon and Torbay’s libraries, has plans to develop an engaging new reading initiative for the county’s youngsters, and they need your help.

Libraries Unlimited has been named as one of three finalists in the Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grant initiative, a community funding scheme that supports community groups and charities to deliver projects that have a positive impact on communities.

In celebration of Tesco’s Centenary, the supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork to deliver a special voting round which will see grants of £25,000, £15,000 and £10,000 awarded to community projects.

The library charity is calling on the people of Devon to support their vision to create an exciting new reading programme, working alongside schools, parents, carers and young people themselves.

Kate Mackenzie, Service Development Manager at Libraries Unlimited said: “We’re really excited to create a new reading activity that will make reading fun and rewarding for children over 5. Many library users might fondly think of Book Track or Book Quest, the reading schemes that have been operating in our libraries for many years. We want to breathe a new lease of life into these reading schemes to make something suitable for today’s children and encouraging them to read for pleasure.

She continued: “As a charity, we’re committed to improving people’s lives and we know from research that reading for pleasure is more important for children's cognitive development than their parents' education and is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background*. We want Devon and Torbay to be leading the way in literacy levels and this new reading initiative will help us to engage with children in a way that they find interesting.  We really hope people will be able to support us to make this happen by voting for us when they do their shopping in Tesco.”

Voting is open in all Tesco stores in Devon during October, November and December and customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already provided over £75 million to more than 25,000 projects across Britain. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help contributes funds to community projects up and down the country and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers voting in their local stores. We’re looking forward to seeing more projects brought to life.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

For more details about Libraries Unlimited, visit or search /LibrariesUnlimited on Facebook or @LibrariesUnLtd on Twitter.