READING Force, a tri-Service charity dedicated to getting more military families reading, sharing and talking, has received an increase in funding from Annington.

The company has agreed to support the charity with a further grant of £25,000 bringing the total to £50,000 per annum for the next two years, enabling more of the estimated 130,000 UK Forces children and parents to participate.

Reading Force keeps family members connected by encouraging and supporting them to share books and chat about them, together at home or over Skype and Facetime if separated by a deployment. It posts books to children and gives colourful scrapbooks in which families may collate their thoughts about the book they have shared, in notes, letters, drawings and photographs.

Sharing a book and chatting about it creates good communication, keeps families close during separations and provides continuity, and is a fun family activity.

Annington’s increased funding will help cover the charity’s core costs including providing the free books and scrapbooks for children; working with organisations, pre-schools, schools, HIVEs, welfare, and community clubs to distribute Reading Force materials. It will also help with raising awareness to increase participation, collaborations and developing partnerships, events and welfare visits.

Helen Liddell, chair of Annington, said: “The impact the simple act of sharing a book can have is quite remarkable. Many Service children find it difficult to deal with a parent’s absence but sharing a story has proved to be a hugely effective way of keeping families connected and talking.

“We hope our increased funding will allow the charity to continue their fantastic work supporting Service families across the UK and beyond.”

To get involved with Reading Force, visit www.readingforce.org.uk – and don’t forget to read the Book Club feature in each issue of Army&You.

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