Ant & Dec support 2,500 Doncaster children to Take 10 to Read for Mental Health Awareness Week

TV presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly this month have encouraged children, communities, and businesses in Doncaster to drop everything and to read for the National Literacy Trust’s #Take10ToRead challenge, which highlights the link between reading for pleasure and mental wellbeing.

Friday, 20th May 2022, 1:09 pm
Updated Friday, 20th May 2022, 1:09 pm

More than 55,000 children acros the country took part in this year’s #Take10ToRead moment.

Children from 18 local schools in Doncaster tuned into the digital event which saw Ant & Dec introduce more than 55,000 pupils nationwide to Propa Happy (Farshore Books), their debut book supporting children to nurture their wellbeing every day, with author proceeds going to the NSPCC.

Ant & Dec partnered with the National Literacy Trust on the #Take10ToRead challenge as part of UK Mental Health Awareness Week (9 – 15 May), and the event took place in the lead up to the Take 10 moment.

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Ant and Dec are encouraging Doncaster children to read

The session included a sneak peek of Propa Happy and the book’s illustrator, Katie Abey, led a draw-a-long for children to share what makes them feel happy. The book also launched the duo’s Pass the Positivity Campaign, a nationwide positivity project inviting school-aged children to share what makes them feel good – like reading!

The National Literacy Trust already has a close relationship with Doncaster; the charity’s Doncaster Stories campaign encourages a love for reading to help local children improve their literacy skills and reach their full potential.

The campaign is funded by Arts Council England and has links to the Mexborough Business Centre, home of their Literacy Lab. Alongside the schools event with Ant and Dec, Doncaster Stories partnered with Doncaster Mind who hosted their reading group in the Sandall Park quiet garden to help raise awareness of the links between reading for pleasure and improved wellbeing. Local volunteers, known as Literacy Champions, also joined in with the #Take10toRead challenge by sharing their own stories.

The #Take10ToRead challenge encourages schools, businesses and communities to stop what they’re doing and take the time to read and focus on their wellbeing every day. Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that reading can be an effective way of helping people care of their mental health and wellbeing – and it only takes 10 minutes a day to see the benefits, including boosting your mood, reducing stress levels and improving memory and concentration.

Ant McPartlin said: “We love the National Literacy Trust’s Take 10 campaign so were delighted to be able to take part and encourage children and young people to take time for their wellbeing.”

Declan Donnelly added: “In these difficult times, this is more important than ever and #Take10ToRead is an excellent way to reach young people from many different communities across the UK.”

Phil Sheppard, Senior Project Officer for Doncaster Stories, said: “We’ve been supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing through the simple act of taking 10 minutes every day to read.

"It is brilliant that over 2,500 children in Doncaster joined superstars Ant & Dec to drop everything and read together at the exact same time, and we were thrilled to put on additional community events in the area to encourage more children and their families to be inspired by Take 10 and start reading for pleasure every day.”

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