09 / 04 / 2024

Children living in the Pendleton area of Salford will be able to receive a free book every month up until the age of five as part of a local partnership with three organisations through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Pendleton Together which is part of the Together Housing Group, is partnering with Lusoconnectionuk CIC, The Dollywood Foundation and national housebuilder and partnership housing expert, Lovell, to provide over £8000 in funding to enable hundreds of children in Salford to access free books through the Imagination Library. The international scheme, founded by Dolly Parton in 1995, encourages a love of reading by gifting books to children each month from birth to age five, completely free to their families.

At least 200 children in Salford will now benefit from the incredible scheme after Pendleton Together partnered up with Lovell and Lusoconnectionuk CIC, a community Interest company committed to delivering quality support services to the Portuguese speakers in Greater Manchester.

Local organisations partner with The Dollywood Foundation to bring the programme to new communities and Regional Director Meg Fletcher said: ‘We are thrilled that this great partnership of local organisations has come together to provide funding for children who live in the Pendleton area of Salford and encourage others to get in touch so we can get more books into the hands of more children across the city’. Lovell’s pledge to match fund the housing association’s investment to further support hundreds of children in the area, is also supported by Pendleton Together’s partnership with Lusoconnectionuk in the delivery of the project.

The partners made the exciting announcing to parents in the local area during an Easter Story session at Pendleton Library, where local residents were thrilled at the chance to sign up to get free books for their children every month. Lynne Harrison, Community Initiatives Officer for Pendleton Together said: “Reading is a powerful tool in the development of young children and the Imagination Library is a fantastic way to ensure we can support as many children as possible in Salford. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Lusoconnectionuk CIC and Lovell to support not only Pendleton Together families but many more living across the city. The children loved our Easter Storytime session, so we know how much they’ll love their books every month.”

Lisa de Pina, founder of Lusoconnectionuk said, “it’s never too early to encourage the love of reading. We feel humble to partner with local organisations to be able to give this opportunity to local children and support literacy development in early years.”

Laura Taylor, Lovell community engagement manager, said: “Literacy support and nurturing a love of reading is essential at such an early age. The Imagination Library will add real value to the Salford community and its next generation who we’ve come to know well from our work on the Pendleton Regeneration project. We’re looking forward to seeing the first books reach the hands of young people in the area.” Through the Imagination Library, each child receives an age-appropriate book every month, ranging from colourful picture books to thrilling story books. Parents can visit https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/ to check availability in their area and