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National Centre for Children’s Books Launches Campaign to Bring Stories to Life for all Children

SEVEN Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books has launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring books and stories to life for North East children with additional needs. The Life-changing Stories campaign goes live on Crowdfunder UK from 26th February 2018.

The museum and gallery, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, is seeking support to raise £7000 to fund a range of fully accessible events and experiences that will allow children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to step into their favourite stories in an inclusive and sensory environment.

Kate Edwards, chief executive of Seven Stories said, “Our ambition is for Seven Stories to be a hub for parents and carers of children with disabilities to socialise, play and learn more about how to enrich their children’s lives through the wonderful world of children’s books.

“All of the money raised will go towards making our activities more accessible to children with additional needs and their families by providing sensory resources that will bring our exhibitions, events and stories to life in a whole new way.

 “All children deserve the chance to enjoy books and stories, however they experience the world. We already work with parents, carers and schools across the UK to inspire children and families to choose, enjoy and share books together and this is a chance to bring this offer to even more young people.”

Award-winning author and illustrator Nick Sharratt (Tracy Beaker, Shark in the Park, You Choose) recently donated his archive to Seven Stories and added his voice to the campaign. Nick said, “I love coming to Seven Stories and this campaign will open up the magic and power of children’s books to even more families, in a completely new way. I am always amazed at the creativity and dedication that goes into making Seven Stories an inclusive and immersive experience for every child and I urge everyone who has ever been transported by the power of stories to get behind this campaign. I am extremely excited to see all of the fantastic offers that it will help deliver.”

As well as providing additional sensory experiences and BSL / Makaton interpretation for performances and story times, the money raised will also allow the team to increase opportunities for children with additional needs and their families to experience Seven Stories in a calmer, quieter environment.

Beth Coverdale, learning and participation co-ordinator and access champion said, “Hustle and bustle can be overwhelming and we want to offer high-quality sensory performances tailored for children with additional access needs.  Our relaxed story times and performances will have all the magic of a Seven Stories event and will provide a supportive but informal atmosphere for everyone that needs it. These sensory performances have a slightly smaller audience capacity than other showings, to help contribute to a calmer environment for children experiencing stress or anxiety.”

Seven Stories is one of the leading inclusive cultural venues in the region and was awarded the Inclusive Tourism Award at the annual North East England Tourism Awards in 2017.

The ceremony, held on Thursday 16th November, celebrated the very best of the North East’s prestigious tourism businesses, recognising excellence in a variety of categories and credited Seven Stories for their ongoing partnership with St Oswald’s Hospice to create accessible experiences for children with life limiting illness and their families. This project kick-started the cross organisational initiative to make Seven Stories as accessible and inclusive as possible to all public visitors, including an extensive building refurbishment in 2015.

Money raised through the campaign will be eligible for match funding though the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, in partnership with Newcastle City Council and the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland if they successfully reach their target.

To pledge your support to children and families across the North East visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/life-changing-stories  today and join the conversation online by using #lifechangingstories.

By admin