Hexham Book Festival and Children North East have joined forces to launch Story Space

Through Story Space, children across the region and beyond can be amongst the first to enjoy a careful selection of books read to them by presenters, actors, bloggers, writers and other recognisable faces.

The Hexham Book Festival Story Space will be available online at www.hexhambookfestival.co.uk from 7am on Friday 1 May.

Stories will also be shared on social media through both Children North East and Hexham Book Festival accounts, as well as the readers, authors and publishers of the books featured.

The readings will be published online every weekday from 1 May, with those watching the videos being encouraged to make a donation to Children North East.

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Readers already confirmed include many authors who would have appeared at the inaugural Gillian Dickinson Children’s Book Festival, including Sophie Henn and Konnie Huq, plus Charlie Hardwick, Carol Malia, Tim Healy, and Vera creator, Ann Cleeves. 

Story Space allows children to have a story read to them, as they would have done if this year’s Hexham Book Festival had gone ahead as planned. We'd love if you could please share the videos we'll be adding on social media, so that we can reach lots of children with these fantastic stories!

Hexham Book Festival, the popular annual event which was due to take place in Northumberland starting 24 April, was one of the victims of the Covid-19 lockdown. This year, Hexham Book Festival had secured special funding from the Gillian Dickinson Trust to run a Children’s Festival for the first time, including building a specially-commissioned Spiegeltent in Sele Park for the children’s events. Over 25 authors, poets and performers were due to headline events as part of the Children’s Festival.

Feeling driven to use their skills and contacts to make a positive difference to those affected by the virus, the team conceived of the Hexham Book Festival Story Space for Children North East – the campaign will see authors, who would have been appearing at the inaugural Children’s Festival, and well known individuals reading picture books for children who are currently isolated by the pandemic.

To support the campaign, you can donate through our website. You can also text STORY to 70490 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message.

We are so grateful to Hexham Book Festival for choosing to work with us on this project, and your support with this is much appreciated so that we can continue to support babies, children, young people and their families when our work is needed now more than ever.