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

We're delighted to be partnering with Hexham Book Festival to launch Story Space - an online portal which will allow children to enjoy storybooks read to them by a whole host of actors, presenters, bloggers, writers and North East personalities.

Throughout May, children across the region and beyond can snuggle up and enjoy a wonderful selection of books, the first read by BBC Look North presenter, Carol Malia. 

The Hexham Book Festival Story Space will be available online at the Hexham Book Festival website from 7am on Friday 1 May.

We'll also be sharing the stories across our social media channels.

Authors and actors donate their time for children

Readers already confirmed include our patron, the actor, Tim Healy; actress, Brenda Blethyn, who plays Geordie detective Vera on TV and the Whitley Bay writer of the Vera novels, Ann Cleeves (above).

Many authors who would have appeared at the inaugural Gillian Dickinson Children’s Book Festival, are also taking part, including Sophie Henn and Konnie Huq. Other familar faces include actors, Denise Welch and Charlie Hardwick. 

The Story Space will allow 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.

A new story every day

The readings, which will be published online every weekday from May 1, will be promoted extensively on our social media, with those watching the videos being encouraged to make a donation to support the work of our charity.

In common with all charities, many of our fundraising events have had to be postponed or cancelled as a result of Covid-19 and our unrestricted income will be impacted as a result. Yet our work has never been more needed. As part of our response to the crisis, staff are delivering food parcels to disadvantaged families; distributing resources like colouring books, pens and cookery kits to pupils in lockdown; providing computer equipment to disadvantaged pupils and offering online and phone counselling to young people struggling with isolation.

We really hope you enjoy Story Space and that you'll consider donating towards our work.

Please visit our Story Space Appeals page to make your donation. Thank you!

Watch Carol's story reading here: