"It's disgusting" - What Doncaster parents have been saying after council announced it was scrapping Dolly Parton's free book service

Doncaster parents have heavily criticised a decision to end a service providing a free book each month to children under the age of five.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 08 July, 2019, 11:09

Council bosses said following a review of literary service across Doncaster, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The scheme was funded externally to the tune of around £680,000 over the last three years.

Local authority education chiefs said it was a ‘difficult decision’ to end the service.

The axe impacts around 12,000 families which include those on the waiting list.

A petition set up by 25-year-old Armthorpe mum Daniella Laffay has prompted a massive reaction.

Many signing the petition called on the council to continue funding the service and said the scheme was well-loved by children and adults alike.

Jeannette Overton said: “This is a wonderful way for young children to learn literacy, through age appropriate books. Shouldn’t we all be encouraging this? Isn’t that what we all want for our children and grandchildren?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“Shame on you Doncaster Council, you should be promoting this wonderful scheme not stopping it!”

Kim Baxter added: “My little boy currently receives the Dolly Parton books and loves them. I’m lucky as when this scheme stops I can afford to continue buying my child new books but many parents cannot.

“I think that it is awful that the council can make the decision to cut funding for something lovely that brings joy to so many as well as helping with Doncasters educational wellbeing.”

Samantha Coleman posted: “Please don’t cut this service! It means so much to my little boy.

“Not everyone can get to toddler groups and we use these books to bond and learn. They’ve been such an important part of his life he loves getting his own post.”

Diane Hudson said: “This is a lifeline to children and it really helps with their reading growth especially for those parents who can barely afford to feed their children never mind buy them a book.”

Gail Cook added: “It's disgusting that the council are stopping it - it makes the kids want to read but also helps with their physical development and it makes kids feel good when books come through the door in their name.”

Hollie Palme posted: “I’m signing because my daughter loves the books she receives each month and it’s helping her so much, she’s coming on in leaps and bounds because of these books.”