Words by Smiley Team
As schools across the country celebrate the 25th annual World Book Day, one charity is encouraging young people to take part in a month-long reading challenge.
Participants can sign up to the challenge online and complete the reading checklist during the month of March: a novel; a poem; a short story; a blog or article; and a non-fiction book. Those who sign up can set up a fundraising page and invite family and friends to sponsor their reading challenge, with all proceeds going to UK Youth.
“We are really excited to celebrate the powerful impact diverse reading has whilst raising money to enable us to continue supporting young people throughout the UK”, said Nicole Locke, events and engagement coordinator at UK Youth.
“In a time where we have seen growing reports from youth organisations on mental health challenges amongst young people, it is incredibly important for us to support them and ensure that they have everything they need to thrive.”
The charity delivers programmes across the country for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, from outdoor activities to skill development opportunities. Following the impact of Covid-19 on youth organisations, fundraising is needed more than ever to ensure there are enough resources to support young people in need.
UK Youth hope that as well as raising some money for the charity, #ReadMoreMarch will highlight the importance of reading and foster a passion for it among those who take part.
“Diverse reading helps to improve reading and writing abilities, reduce stress, provide escapism, ease feelings of isolation, as well as build confidence, empathy and social/cultural awareness”, said Nicole, when explaining why reading was chosen as the challenge.
Read More March can be signed up to at any point during the month, and every participant is entered into a free prize draw. There are even some book recommendations from the UK Youth team to get people inspired who might be in a reading rut.
Sarah Brereton, corporate partnership officer at UK Youth, is pictured holding Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. “It’s a form of escapism”, Sarah said about diving into a book, “especially, in a world in which it’s almost impossible to escape screens. I love being able to lose myself in a well written book and taking my mind off everything else going on in my life! For me it’s one of the best ways to relieve stress and unwind before going to bed.”
Another team member, Millie Ginnett, spoke about how reading can even inspire personal goals and motivation.
“One of my all-time favs is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone which inspired me to do a Level 2 counselling course! Also to embark on my journey of therapy. I am forever grateful to Lore Gottlieb who wrote the book for inspiring me to take the leap.”
As March gets underway, UK Youth hope that more people take up the challenge to expanding their reading horizons and support other young people.
FIND OUT MORE: Sign up to UK Youth’s #ReadMoreMarch challenge and get fundraising.
SUPPORT: If you don’t fancy taking on the challenge, you can still support UK Youth.