Wisbech Reads

Wisbech Reads will create opportunities for improving the skills and life prospects for all of those living in the Wisbech area through reading, writing and speaking.

The Vision

Wisbech Reads is a partnership located in the Wisbech area of Cambridgeshire whose focus is to improve literacy skills amongst both children and adults. The partnership is taking a community- based approach to this task believing that engaging the whole community and using trusted community assets to facilitate delivery will bring about sustainable, community-driven development that will yield results for the longer term.

The Partnership

Wisbech Reads has a Steering Group made up of representatives from different sectors, including public, private, community, education and third sector organisations

20Twenty Productions CIC : Katherine Nightingale

Cambridgeshire County Council - Community and Partnership Development : Carl Suckling & Kerrie Tonks

Cambridgeshire County Council - Early Years: Community Base Family Literacy : Helen Wootton

Cambridgeshire Library Service : Louise Aldridge

Clarion Housing : Maria Walker

Community Volunteer : Mike Forrest

Community Volunteer : Jenny Atkins

Diocese of Ely / Orchards C of E Academy : Clare Claxton

Festival Bridge : Stephanie Peachey

Friends of Wisbech Library : Robin Hine

Rotary Club of Wisbech: : Maggie Barwell

Thomas Clarkson Academy : Victor Bronwisewski

Wisbech and Fenland Museum : Sarah Coleman

Wisbech Community Development Trust : Chris Stevens

Wisbech Schools’ Partnership - Peckover School : Carrie Norman

Wisbech Town Council : Terry Jordan

National Trust/Peckover House : Ben Ricketts

Background to Wisbech Reads

In 2014, Wisbech Reads secured Arts Council England funding to ‘Enhance children’s confidence and enjoyment in reading and writing, speaking and listening’. A small core group of partners had success in achieving this by facilitating regular encounters with books and their authors, stories and storytellers, and by providing participatory, intergenerational opportunities for families to engage more creatively with reading and writing.

Since the end of the initial programme in 2016, the work of the Partnership has continued through partners’ in-kind contributions and the securing of small grants to undertake events on an ad hoc basis. This has included a schools’ engagement programme; a public festival; one-off events; and the building of relationships with local authors and artists.

In 2018 the partnership was stengthened by funding from Clarion Housing and The Festaival Bridge and engaged Cambridgeshire ACRE who supported Wisbech Reads to:

  • Strengthen the Wisbech Reads Partnership and its governance;
  • Obtain an agreed vision and focused objectives for the delivery of outputs and outcomes, that will create a significant impact;
  • Evaluate local needs and engage the most disadvantaged children and their families in Wisbech Reads delivery

The partnership continues to run a summer reading festival and has extended it's reach to schools by running a poetry festival in March 2020.