THE Ilkley Book Club have donated £1000 to the Nell Bank Charitable Trust to support the work the Nell Bank Centre does in teaching literacy to children through their outdoor education programmes.

Nell Bank, the outdoor centre on the outskirts of Ilkley, uses a range of popular children’s stories as themes for visits to the centre. The stories are retold outdoors where children meet characters from the books and the stories are retold and brought to life.

Following the recent completion of the Paul Hockney Room, a new purpose-built facility for early years children (age three to five), the Ilkley Book Club are stocking it with £1000 worth of children’s literature as well as a small outdoor library where children can sit on a log in the woods and read.

The books will include a range of fiction and non-fiction titles, all linked to the outdoors and the programs and activities offered, as well as children’s stories in other languages to cater for the diversity of visitors seen at the centre.

The books will all be purchased through the Grove Book Shop in Ilkley, ensuring the donation made by the Book Club also benefits this independent local bookshop.

Dan Goodey, Head of Centre at Nell Bank said: “We are delighted to receive this generous donation from the Ilkley Book Club. Literacy is so important for children, there is a lot of research to show that children who enjoy reading and who read for pleasure are at a significant advantage to those that don’t. If we can help children to really enjoy a good book, whilst immersing themselves in the natural environment the impact will be huge.”

Dan added: “We are also really excited to work with both the Ilkley Book Club and the Grove Bookshop to select the books and be part of a very local partnership which will have a such a positive impact on children.”

Robert Taylor, President of the Ilkley Book Club added: “As a club we are very keen to help children to develop a love of reading, and to have access to the enjoyment that can come from a good book, in the way our members have been able to for many years. We know how much the children enjoy their days out at Nell Bank, and if we can help those children develop their love of reading at the same time we would be delighted.”