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The Open Book Project Northumberland

Funded on Spacehive 13 September 2022 Delivered 1 September 2023

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

The Open Book Project Northumberland

The Duchess's High School Trust By The Duchess's High School Trust

This project will promote reading for pleasure across our community: giving more children the opportunity to enjoy the power of a good story and to access literature relevant to today’s world.

Alnwick Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 13 Sep 2022!

This project will be based at the Duchess's Community High School (DCHS). The pandemic has had significant impact on children’s literacy with more students entering secondary school with poor skills in reading. Our project aims to encourage a love of reading by supporting reading in the wider community. Our belief is that if children have access to books for fun and are supported by role models who love books, then reading will become more accessible to them. This project will ensure students at DCHS can access books at home and in the community. It will establish new reading for pleasure activities and promote a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, including books by authors of colour and LGBTQI+ authors. It will provide opportunities for children to read out loud and to listen to stories being read to them. In short, this project will encourage the community to share a love of reading and to support our children to develop essential literacy skills.

What we'll deliver:

  • • More access to books in school and in the community (at least 1000 books distributed)
  • • Book swap events once per term (dependent on local covid restrictions)
  • • Real and virtual visits from authors for students and the wider community
  • • Reading zones in the community (e.g. youth clubs and community centres)
  • • Reading ambassadors – students volunteers and local role models sharing books and reading to each other

Why it's a great idea:

By providing new reading opportunities and promoting reading for pleasure in the community, our aim is that more children and young people will find a love of reading. The direct consequence of this will be that literacy skills will increase, giving DCHS students and others more chances to fulfil their potential. This project will bring new cultural opportunities to rural communities in north Northumberland by bringing stories and literature to life via visiting authors and performances. The project will also build stronger links in the community, enabling people across the DCHS catchment to support each other; encouraging volunteers to support reading schemes in school and also enabling school students to share reading in the community.

Steps to get it done:

  • • Print promotional material, banners and vinyl stickers with positive messages about reading
  • • Provide books for young people to read in the home and in the community
  • • Distribute books in the community
  • • Identify “reading ambassadors” to share a love of reading
  • Hold at least two events per term (e.g. book swap, author visit, book club)
  • Total 1000 books distributed by the end of the project

This project will be based in the Duchess’s Community High School but it is additional to the school’s statutory responsibilities. It focuses on supporting and promoting reading which will embed skills and develop literacy to benefit student attainment in all subjects but it will achieve this via a community approach, working closely with organisations and individuals in our community to support our young people. In the last two years, children’s education has been disrupted like never before. It is essential that we now act as a community to provide new opportunities which support learning and rebuild the key skills which have been lost.

Location Alnwick

About the space

DCHS community (North Northumberland)


Northumberland Council

How will the money be spent?Total £9,074

Books - £6,000 (66%)
Author visits or performances - £1,800 (20%)
Marketing materials and gift wrap etc for book distribution - £500 (6%)
5x community reading zones - £290 (3%)
Other - £484 (5%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Author visits or performances
Marketing materials and gift wrap etc for book distribution
5x community reading zones
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction fees


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • Buy more books

Total £9,074

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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