New Chapter for Military Charity Reading Force as Annington Increases Funding

Reading Force, the read, share, talk and stay connected initiative for Forces families, is to receive an increase in funding from Annington. The company has agreed to support the charity with a grant of £50,000 over the next two years, enabling more of the estimated 130,000+ UK Forces children and parents to participate.

The tri-service charity keeps Forces family members connected by encouraging and supporting them to share books and chat about them, together at home or over Skype and Facetime if separated by a deployment. Reading Force posts books to children and gives colourful scrapbooks in which families may collate their thoughts about the book they have shared, in notes, letters, drawings and photographs. Sharing a book and chatting about it creates good communication, keeps families close during separations and provides continuity, and is a fun family activity.

Reading Force has very much helped my children get through this very long deployment, so thank you very much.” Nicky Broome

The Broome family participated in Reading Force while Royal Navy dad was deployed on HMS Portland.

Annington’s increased funding will help cover the charity’s core costs including providing the free books and scrapbooks for children; working with organisations, pre-schools, schools, HIVEs, welfare, and community clubs to distribute Reading Force materials. It will also help with raising awareness to increase participation, collaborations and developing partnerships, events and welfare visits. The award builds on previous and existing support from Annington Ltd:

“This core funding further solidifies our relationship with Annington, it builds on the relationship we established with them in 2016 which enabled us to recruit a Reading Force Ambassador in Scotland and build on the links she has since developed to extend participation. This new funding adds further energy to our efforts and we are particularly grateful to Annington for their continued confidence in us.” Dr Alison Baverstock, Founder and Director of Reading Force

“We have been very impressed by the work of Reading Force in Scotland.  There is no doubt they have had significant success in supporting Service families there, as evidenced by the work of their new Ambassador,” says Helen Liddell, Chair of Annington.  “The impact the simple act of sharing a book can have is quite remarkable.  Many Service children find it difficult to deal with a parents’ absence but sharing a story has proved to be a hugely effective way of keeping families connected and talking.  We hope our increased funding will allow the charity to continue their fantastic work supporting Service families across the UK and beyond.”

For more information about Reading Force go to www.readingforce.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. The initiative was founded in 2011, piloted in Aldershot, and has grown to become an international charity offering its service to all serving Forces families, ex-Forces, cadets, and reservists. To date it has given over 8,000 books to children and distributed over 100,000 of its signature scrapbooks.
  2. Reading Force family testimony:
  3. “Thank you so much. There needs to be some positives to being a military child – it can be so hard at times – your reading initiative is a lovely thing. Thanks again.” Tamsin Fleming. Dad Fleming is in the Army and away during the week, the Fleming family did Reading Force at home and talked about their books with dad.
  4. For more information please contact Hattie Gordon at Reading Force: hattie@readingforce.org.uk / 07566 200 299
  5. Follow Reading Force on Twitter @ReadingForce
  6. readingforce.org.uk
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