Realise charity donates over 200 books to Christmas Community Appeal

Realise charity has donated over 200 children’s books to the Christmas Community Gift Appeal supporting literacy across the area.

The Staffordshire charity has teamed up with local author and RAF photographer Richard Bland, to share his story AB Gets His Wings, raising awareness about mental health.

The charming story follows a little bear on an amazing adventure through the skies with the No. IV (AC) Squadron at RAF Valley. Inspired by the death of his son Andrew in 2013, Richard launched his children’s book to raise awareness about mental health with the aim of helping youngsters cope with depression.

Richard Bland, author of AB Gets His Wings, said: “I’m delighted to be working with Realise charity. It means more young children will have access to a story this Christmas and have the opportunity to learn about the adventures of AB. I’m proud to be sharing my story helping to raise awareness about mental health and literacy in local communities.”

The donation of over 200 books to this year’s Christmas Community Gift Appeal is part of the charities plan to support communities and improve literacy. The donation launches a commissioned programme of literacy projects that will see reading gardens within local communities, Literacy champions and Literacy Benches being installed across the area next year.

In Staffordshire, children born into deprived communities are likely to be 11 months behind children born in more affluent areas by the time they get to school. Realise charity are supporting the development of communities through skills, training and mental health support having supported over 10,000 people in the last 10 years.

“I’m delighted to be working with Realise charity. It means more young children will have access to a story this Christmas helping to raise awareness about mental health and literacy in local communities.”

Richard Bland, author of AB Gets His Wings 

Katie French, Realise charity Ambassador, said: “Encouraging young people to read, improving skills and local communities lies at the heart of what Realise charity is about. We’re excited to be working with Richard, sharing his story and are looking forward to a year of literacy projects across the area so we can raise awareness about these much talked about topics.”

The Christmas Community Gift Appeal is an annual collection of toys and gifts for children and teenagers in the region. The appeal is a partnership project between Aspire Housing and Tesco, with Stoke City Community Trust joining the campaign for its eighth year. It will support more than 30 local charities with donations at the handover event on Thursday 12th December.