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Harrogate and District Soroptimist’s Local Community Project to improve Literacy

Soroptimist International of Harrogate & District has launched their new project to “Support the local community by providing craft materials for children’s activities at our libraries.”

Members are working in partnership with other local organisations to provide craft materials and educational toys for staff and volunteers to use during children’s activity sessions. If young children are encouraged to attend libraries they become more confident in using books and this gives them a head start in learning to read and provides a boost to their educational attainments.

Libraries have been through a very difficult time recently and suffered major budget cuts by NYCC. Even asking for a donation from parents to cover the cost of crayons and glue can be enough to stop some of our most vulnerable families from attending. Hence the project is to make craft activities completely free for all children at least up to Christmas and hopefully beyond.

Starbeck Community Library is the first to embrace the project and Stephen Brown Master of The Spa Lodge and his members were willing to offer their support.

Thomas Henry and Amelia Williams two of the local children could not wait to see the new craft materials which they will soon be using. The photograph also shows SI Harrogate’s President Hilary Waddington and member Sue Williams together with Stephen Brown Master and Spa Lodge members Doug Mills and John Shore together with Chairman of Starbeck Community Library Julia Mosley and fellow Trustees and volunteers Anne Henry, Margaret Manning and Tina Gilchrist.

For more information about the Harrogate & District Soroptimists Club and how to become a member or offer your support to this worthwhile project visit email

Meetings are held at The White Hart hotel on the first and third Wednesday at 7:30pm