Supporters of Read for Good
National Book Tokens are proud to support Read for Good, a UK national charity with the mission to encourage children to read for fun. Its sponsored read in schools motivates even reluctant readers to read all the more, because the money raised helps to get new books and storytellers to children in hospital all over the UK. Amazing!
The support of National Book Tokens helps Read for Good’s unique service reach over 100 000 seriously ill children in hospital every year. Read for Good's specially designed mobile bookcase is refilled with brand new books every six weeks, enabling children in an infection-controlled environment to choose their own brand new books, from much-loved classics to the latest award winning titles. Plus, Read for Good’s professional storytellers offer much-needed therapeutic entertainment to children and their exhausted families in hospital.
Every year we provide:
30 hospitals across the UK with 27,000 brand new books reaching 150,000 children
225 storytelling days a year reaching over 4,000 children = over 150,000 smiles
In late 2018, Maisy's parents received the news that their little girl, aged only 4 years old had been diagnosed with a childhood renal cancer known as Wilms' tumour. Since then Maisy has been a regular patient at one of the UK's largest children's hospitals. The gruelling treatment has been tough but for Maisy and her family, Read for Good's books and stories have given them moments of delight, comfort and laughter at a very difficult time.
Maisy's mum Lisa told us "Maisy had a small bump; we had no idea a near 2kg tumour lay beneath. Maisy started chemotherapy within a week of diagnosis, and has since had surgery, radiotherapy and now more chemo; she spent most of the first 4 months in hospital."
Lisa remembers with fondness the first time Maisy met one of our storytellers: "When Read for Good storyteller, Wilf visited the hospital he immediately put Maisy at ease with his huge smile and friendly nature. He helped Maisy with some suggestions. He took his time and he clearly loved delivering joy with all the amazing books! His knowledge of the books certainly helped. He was full of fun and made Maisy laugh; she said he made her happy and she loved choosing a book to keep."
Wilf Merttens is one of our team of 11 storytellers who work in 30 hospitals across the UK helping to distract and delight thousands of children like Maisy every year. Wilf says "When I arrived on the Oncology Ward, I was struck by the pure joy and imagination of Maisy. Kids like Maisy are having a very tough time and it continually astonishes me that somehow they don't lose the ability to play, to be joyful or to share that joy with others.
That's why Read for Good’s work is so important - helping to facilitate play, imagination and stories at a time when these things are more important than ever. We can all learn a lot from kids like Maisy."
Maisy's mum agrees, "Read for Good delivers more than books; they bring smiles and laughter and education! Thank you Wilf and Read for Good!"
Cassie was born with end stage renal failure and her parents were told the devastating news that she would need kidney dialysis and a transplant. Her first transplant failed, and she was back on dialysis just before her 6th birthday. For six years, Cassie and her parents have travelled from Coventry to Birmingham Children’s Hospital three times a week for 4 hourly dialysis sessions. Cassie is confined to a chair for the whole time and is not allowed to move as it affects the blood flow through the dialysis machine.
Cassie, who is now 12, has been using Read for Good's service in Birmingham hospital. Unlike secondhand books, brand new books are allowed onto the ward as they don't carry a risk of infection, and Cassie is allowed to choose one to keep. She says, "I love it when the Read for Good bookcase comes onto the ward. it helps to make the dialysis session go so much quicker!"
Cassie’s mum, Ann, says Read for Good's service has been vital to her daughter:
"As a parent of a child who has spent 12 hours a week in hospital every week for the past six years, I can say with much enthusiasm how valuable the Read for Good books and storytellers are. As you can imagine, having to sit still in a chair for that long is really tedious so Cassie really looks forward to becoming engrossed in a book. The fact that Cassie’s friends at school are helping to raise those funds for her, and children like her, while she’s in the hospital is absolutely fantastic!"
To help us get more children reading for pleasure in school, and to brighten the days of children in hospital, why not ask a teacher or librarian at your school to sign up for a free sponsored read kit at readforgood.org.