Nottingham based charity, Imagination Library, hosted business leaders at Nottingham Castle for an evening of awareness-raising about the work the organisation does to bring the joy of reading to life for children across the city.  

Businesses decision-makers from across Nottingham were invited to attend The Books and Business event,  to understand the importance of the charity scheme and how it provides children aged nought to five with crucial reading resources in their early years. Guests at the event learnt how just £125 could put one child through the entire five-year scheme.  

Kicking off the evening, leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor David Mellen, announced the news that 400,000 books have already been delivered to 10,000 children across 10 of the 20 wards in Nottingham. However, for this trajectory to continue, the Imagination Library is in need of further funding. 

Councillor David Mellen speaking at the event

Councillor David Mellen said: “We’re thrilled with how many children we’ve reached so far with our programme, but we want to be able to support more families and their children, which requires the help of local businesses. The event was a great success and we’re well on the way to fundraising enough to sponsor more children in Nottingham that are in desperate need of being granted the fairest start in life with access to a wealth of stories to spark their imaginations.” 

Councillor David Mellen was joined by guest speakers, Councillor Cheryll Bernard, the Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education, and The Imagination Library representative Helen Hastle (DPIL UK).  

Helen emphasised the importance of child development in their earliest years and how the scheme was created to help close the gap that some children face when starting school, if they haven’t been able to access reading material in early development.  

Research explains that the most important time in a child’s development is within the first two years when major brain connections are made forming the foundations for their development. 

The highlight of the “Books and Business” event was hearing first-hand from parents who have benefited from The Imagination Library scheme. 

Amanda Doughty, a mum of three explained: “The Imagination Library Nottingham scheme has provided my husband with a vital bonding opportunity and has become a magical experience for my children to receive their own books each month, which has ignited a love for reading that they now have for the rest of their lives.” 

Graham Cartledge, a lead supporter and fundraiser of The Imagination Library Nottingham, said: “When thinking about which charity to sponsor, The Imagination Library was an easy choice to make, their ethos around children being the future of our city matches ours, and we’re very happy to support their important work.” 

Conygar cheque presentation with Cllr David Mellen

The evening ended on a high with a £500 donation cheque from property investment and development group Conygar. A generous donation that will put four local children through the entire Imagination Library Nottingham scheme. 

Without the support of donations, the Imagination Library would not be able to provide children with the access to their own, new book every month, that they would otherwise not be able to have. If you would like to learn more about the Imagination Library, and how you can help, visit their website