Frank Cottrell-Boyce, award-winning screenwriter and children’s fiction author, joined us on Monday 20 March, to help celebrate our 50th anniversary with our North West reading helpers.

The event, held at the Quaker's Meeting House in Liverpool, marked 50 years of Coram Beanstalk, originally founded in 1973 as Volunteer Reading Help. Since then we've helped almost 250,000 children to build their reading ability, confidence and enjoyment. It was also an opportunity to celebrate and thank our local reading helpers, trained volunteers from across Merseyside who provide reading support to children in schools.

Frank, a resident of Liverpool and author of children’s books including Millions, Framed and The Astounding Broccoli Boy, chatted about his books and the importance of helping children to discover the pleasure of reading.

"Reading for pleasure helps build the apparatus for happiness inside yourself", he said, going on to tell the reading helpers that "giving children a happy experience in school is an incredible thing."

Frank spoke about the joy of being read to and talked of the magical chemistry created when an adult and child read a book together. He thanked the volunteers for everything they do and for opening the box of delights that reading for pleasure can bring. "You've gifted those children reading and given them the map to escape."


The reading helpers were treated to some very special birthday cupcakes too!