Open Book announces Big Lottery funding to support book festival initiative

PRESS RELEASE: Edinburgh-based reading charity Open Book has announced it has been awarded a Big Lottery Awards for All grant of £8000 to help fund its costs in bringing community groups and the elderly to events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Founded in 2013, Open Book organises and runs year-round shared reading groups throughout Scotland, and brings many of those readers to the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) in August, including attendees from the groups at Shakti Women’s Refuge, Maryhill Integration Network and the Grassmarket Community Project. There are many recognised benefits of participating in shared reading groups, with particular relevance for those with mental health conditions, dementia and chronic pain sufferers.

This year, Open Book will bring over 200 people to EIBF events over two days – something the majority would not otherwise do without Open Book support. The Big Lottery Awards for All grant of £8000 will fund a large proportion of the costs for this year’s visits, which include all transport, tickets and catering costs. The charity has selected social enterprise Social Bite to provide all catering.

Much as you’d expect from a traditional book group, fiction and poetry is read and then discussed – except that at Open Book, all the reading is done aloud. Everyone is welcome at an Open Book group, regardless of literacy skills or any concerns around language barriers – meaning that nobody is excluded from building a relationship with books and literature or from enjoying the benefits of the co-operative, social aspects of the programme.

For further information, please contact Carrie Hoy directly by email or on 07856 551083.