Mum's 'Imagination Station' is helping spread the love of reading around Accrington

A kind-hearted woman who runs a children’s mobile book shop is appealing to the public to help her spread the love of reading.

Laura Bardsley, from Accrington, set up ‘Laura’s Imagination Station’ last year so that all children could experience the joy of reading. The mother-of-three started a book treasure hunt called ‘Laura’s look for a book’ in which she hides dozens of books around Hyndburn in places like parks.

Families who find the book can take it home or re-hide the book once they’ve finished with it for another child to find. However, she says sponsorship for books is getting harder to come by and she is reaching out to the community for help.

The former Rhyddings pupil said: “The ‘look for a book’ hunts I’ve been doing have been really successful and some of the feedback from families has been lovely.

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“It’s so great to see their faces light up when they find a book and I can’t wait to do my next one over the summer.”

Laura is putting packs together for the children in the children’s wards at East Lancashire hospitals as well as Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley. The packs contain books, stickers, and other activities to help the youngsters take their minds off their illnesses.

Laura dropped off books for the older children and ten activity packs for the younger children to help the youngsters take their minds off their illnesses at Royal Blackburn Hospital. She has asked the hospital if she could also help in their dental department and give books educating children on the importance of looking after their teeth and how to brush their teeth.

Laura has been selling books at Tesco in Burnley and Haslingden and proceeds went towards the initiative. Her seven-year-old son, Isaac, and his friend, read 50 books each and were sponsored, raising a total of £325.

The stalls and sponsored read have raised £500 altogether to help Laura distribute books and packs to children. Laura said: “I hope to do the sponsored read annually and I hope more children will get involved.

“Not only will it promote a love of reading but it was also give other children the opportunity to read books too.”

She is preparing to start ‘Laura’s look for a book’ again during the school summer holiday and is asking the community and businesses if they could help sponsor books. Langtec Ltd in Altham, Geeks ‘N’ Gizmos in Accrington, Althams Travel, North Lancashire Training Group and Café Ri-An in Accrington have sponsored books for this summer.

If you would like to sponsor a book email laurasimagination station@gmail.com