Field Music's Peter Brewis, Mel Giedroyc and Billy Bragg join North East storytelling initiative for children

Celebrities have shown their support for an initiative promoting the importance of storytelling for children’s learning and enjoyment.

Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, is fighting back from the coronavirus lockdown by uniting celebrities and essential workers to narrate a series of videos featuring well-known children’s books.

The project – called I’ll Tell You A Story – aims to applaud the dedication of our nation’s essential workers, as well as shining a light on literacy and reading.

It also draws attention to the power of stories, even during the most difficult circumstances.

Seven Stories has launched its I'll Tell You A Story initiative.

Famous faces taking part in the scheme include singer South Tyneside Nadine Shah, presenter Mel Giedroyc, Billy Bragg, Field Music Singer Peter Brewis and Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall.

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Sunderland-based singer Peter said: “As a dad myself, there is nothing better than seeing the look on a kid’s face when you open up a bedtime storybook.

“Stories are a great way to bond with your children, as well as helping them to learn and bringing their imagination to life.”

I’ll Tell You A Story was thought up by Nick Kemp, board member at Seven Stories – which is in the Ouseburn Valley – and Newcastle City councillor.

The centre is on a mission to promote storytelling and literacy across the UK and works alongside schools, authors and publisher to engage with children directly.

Tales included in the I’ll Tell You A Story initiative include the Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Fire Eaters and Jack and the Flumflum Tree.

Nick added: “My twins girls grew up loving every second they spent at Seven Stories and, even though it’s been closed for the past few months, that doesn’t mean we should lose sight of what it stands for.

“Literacy and storytelling are so important, so I wanted to think of a way we could reach out, while also recognising the vital role that our key workers have played over the past few months.”

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