A marathon a day on the Penine Way!

Later in August I’ve set myself the challenge of walking the 267 miles of the Penine Way in just 10 days to raise money for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. That means I’ll be walking more than a marathon every day- which really will be a serious challenge. I have no idea whether I’ll be able to do the whole of the challenge, but it’s all for a great cause. Getting children reading at an early age is important, and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library makes that possible for many children in Nottingham.

The scheme provides a free book in the post every month for the first year of a child’s life. The scheme is currently running in 9 of the 20 wards in the city, but we’d like to make it available across the city.

I hope you’ll consider sponsoring me for this great cause. I will be posting throughout the challenge to keep you updated on my progress…I fully expect to be dead on my feet at the end of each day.

I’m hoping to raise £2670 – that’s the equivalent of £10 for each mile I walk. All donations will go towards helping more Nottingham children to benefit from the Imagination Library. Any support you can give is really appreciated:
• Just £2 pays for a child to get a new book
• £25 pays for a child to get a new book each month for a year
• £125 pays for a child to get a new book every month from birth until their fifth birthday

You can sign up to support me here:


Thanks in advance for anything you’re able to give to spur me on and support Nottingham’s children!

About the Dolly Parton Imagination Library
In 1995 Dolly Parton launched the Imagination Library in Sevier County, Tennessee. Her vision was to get children to fall in love with reading by giving them a specially selected free book each month from birth until their fifth birthday. By 2000 the scheme was so popular it was rolled out to different communities across the US.

The Nottingham story – The vision of the Imagination Library was first sparked in Nottingham in 2009 by Cheryl Mitchell, a Teaching Assistant at Fernwood Infant School, Wollaton. Cheryl campaigned to raise funds and encouraged people to support the charity.

Momentum gathered when the Rotary Club of Nottingham worked with Nottingham City Council to set up the Imagination Library in the Nottingham neighbourhood of Bilborough. Nottingham City Council’s Children’s Centres were enrolled to administer the scheme and Health Visitors promoted the scheme to parents.

The scheme is now running successfully in nine of the city’s 20 wards. The scheme is currently supported by the Rotary Club of Nottingham, Small Steps Big Changes and Castle Cavendish. It currently has more than 4,000 Nottingham children signed up and has delivered more than 100,000 books since 2009.

Children’s literacy in Nottingham
In Nottingham children can start school with reading skills 14% behind the national average. The Imagination Library is proven to change this. Children who get these monthly books are 28.8% more likely to be ready for school by their fifth birthday.

The Imagination Library ignites a love of books and helps children to develop early literacy skills such as listening, concentrating, talking about new ideas and using their imaginations. These are all skills children need in order to be ready to start school at age five. Ultimately the data shows that children who start school with these skills are more likely to leave school with better grades at age 16.