Monday 16 July 2018

Author Jojo Moyes rescues adult literacy scheme from collapse

The writer has given the Quick Reads initiative three years of funding.

Me Before You European Premiere – London
Me Before You European Premiere – London

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Author Jojo Moyes has donated three years of funding to an adult literacy scheme to save it from collapse.

The best-selling writer of Me Before You said she had seen the benefits of the Quick Reads scheme and believed it was too important to be allowed to end.

The Reading Agency announced that 2018 would be the last year for the programme, which costs £100,000 a year to run, due to a lack of financial support.

The initiative aims to help the one in six UK adults who struggle with reading by working with well-known authors to distribute short and engaging stories across libraries, prisons, colleges, hospitals and adult-learning organisations.

Moyes contributed to the Quick Reads scheme with the short story Paris For One in 2015.

While the deadline has passed for The Reading Agency to deliver a new list of books in 2019, the charity is beginning work immediately to re-launch in 2020.

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Moyes said: “Like so many, I was shocked that a scheme helping many people to read was going to close, especially at a time when libraries are struggling for funding.

“As an author who has not just written a Quick Read, but seen up close the real impact these books can have, I decided it was too important to be allowed to end.

“I am lucky enough to be in a position to help, and proud to provide the support it needs for the next three years.

“Quick Reads opens up the benefits of reading to people that have either never found, or have lost, a love of books. It’s never been more important.

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“I’m looking forward to playing an active role in its future and working with The Reading Agency to reach the audiences that can most benefit.”

Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said: “It was with a heavy heart that we announced the end of Quick Reads last month, after seeking ongoing support for the initiative for 18 months.

“We couldn’t be more thankful to Jojo for recognising the importance of the scheme and so generously providing the funding to enable it to continue.

“The moving testimonies from the public, authors and all of our partners last month demonstrated how much they value these wonderful books and how Quick Reads have touched so many people’s lives.

“As a charity, we are continually working to secure enough funding to keep our high quality programmes running and support the 1.4 million people who rely on our work each year, so this is an extraordinary gift.”

Press Association

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