Aldi is giving away over 100,000 books to children across the UK for free this summer to help get more kids into reading.
Did you know that one in 17 children in the UK doesn’t own a single book? And more than one in four 11-year-olds had below-expected reading levels in 2019? On top of that, some new research commissioned by budget supermarket retailer Aldi has revealed that 90% of charity professionals believe that children’s reading abilities have unfortunately declined since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic too.
So, in a bid to help more children benefit from everything that reading has to offer, Aldi has announced it will donate more than 100,000 books to children across the UK ahead of the school summer holidays.
Alongside the launch of the campaign, Aldi has also asked the Wythenshawe-born footballer and best-selling children’s author to narrate an animation called ‘My Reading Journey’ – which the retailer says brings to life “how much joy reading can bring to a child”.
“I didn’t read properly until I was 17, and I don’t want that for others like me,” Marcus said.
“The escapism and joy you can get from reading could have benefitted me significantly as a child, but the issue was always access and representation.
“Struggling to put food on the table, there was very little money left for things like books, so it’s great to see Aldi step up to address a growing need for access to books in communities just like mine [as] it’s important that children can see a world much bigger than what they see on their doorstep and that can be achieved through books.”
The books will be produced by Macmillan Children’s Books, and distributed with support from the charity Magic Breakfast – which provides nutritious breakfasts to children and young people at schools in disadvantaged areas for free – with additional copies also being donated by national giving platform, Neighbourly.
“At Aldi we believe that access to books, just like quality food, should be a right, not a privilege and every child deserves to experience the magic of reading,” added Giles Hurley – CEO at Aldi UK and Ireland.
“Not only are we donating over 100,000 books to children that need them, this campaign also aims to help raise awareness of the increasing number of children who don’t have access to their own books at home so those that are in the fortunate position to do so, have the chance to help too.”
Aldi is also encouraging the public to donate to help them provide books to a children.
Making a donation of just £5 means that two books will be gifted to those in need, and you can find out more and donate on the Aldi website here.
Featured Image – Aldi
You can now stay at Shrek’s Swamp on Airbnb — yes, really
Are you a Dreamworks fan or perhaps an onion/ogre enthusiast? Well, you can now book to stay at Shrek’s Swamp in a land far, far away… and it’s completely free!
‘What are you doing in my swamp?!’ is something that Shrek may roar at you as you lay your weary head in his humble abode this autumn but now, thanks to Airbnb, you’re actually welcome to stay there.
So, if you’re thinking of treating yourself to a getaway, forget the romantic vistas of Rome, say nay to the breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast and revel in the mud-laden, moss-covered surroundings of Shrek’s very own swamp instead.
For those looking to live out their swampiest childhood fairytale dreams, Airbnb is giving you the opportunity to escape to the Scottish Highlands and embrace your ogre-like tendencies.
Bookings for this special stay open on Friday, 13 October at 6pm and, if you’re lucky, up to three of you will be picked to enjoy a two-night swamp stay at absolutely no cost to yourselves from 27-29 October. A nice pre-Halloween treat.
You’ll need to make sure you have a good rating on Airbnb to stand a chance of being chosen and, if you are, you can expect the following:
To relax in the ambience of ‘earwax candlelight’
Kick your feet up with a parfait (everybody likes a parfait!)
Swap stories around the fire until late in the night
Enjoy a stack of freshly made waffles in the morning
And, of course, enjoy the ultimate privacy of Shrek’s trusted outhouse (you know the one)
The Airbnb website also states: “To honour good childhood memories that last a lifetime, Airbnb will make a one-time donation to HopScotch Children’s Charity, which provides some of Scotland’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children with respite breaks through nurturing and dynamic holiday trips.”
Guests must also note that the shower and toilet facilities are located 20 metres away from the swamp and that those chosen to stay must make their own travel arrangements to and from Scotland.
Might we suggest a fairytale-style horse and carriage shaped like an onion? No reason…
To find out more and to place your booking on 13 October, visit the Shrek Swamp listing on Airbnb.
A radio station playing only Christmas tunes 24/7 is back on air in the UK
It’s that time of year again… a radio station playing only Christmas tunes 24/7 is now back on the airwaves in the UK.
Too early to say the ‘C word’? Never mind, you’ve already clicked on this article.
Autumn may have only just started, and we may still have all the fun of Halloween and Bonfire Night to get stuck into first, but for some people, the festive feels are already in the air – but whether or not you’re in the camp of it being too early to talk about Christmas at this point, it’ll soon be pretty tricky to escape from.
Especially not when a radio station that’s dedicated to playing non-stop Christmas bangers has just relaunched in the UK.
You heard that right – Christmas songs, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
If you’re the type that’s got Mariah blasting in September, and like to start the day with Slade baring out loud, then you should be absolutely made up to hear that Heart Radio has revealed its much-loved festive station, Heart Xmas, is now back up and running.
With just over three months to go until the big day, Heart Xmas has switched-on earlier than ever before this year, and is now live to listen to on DAB digital radio and online via Global Player.
Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, The Pogues, Wham!, Wizzard, Slade, and Shakin Stevens are just some of the artists with those classic Christmas hits you can expect to hear in the run-up to December, as Heart says its dedicated Christmas station promises to bring listeners “the ultimate festive soundtrack at all hours of the day”.
Done denying the festive season’s just round the corner?
If you’re on board and fancy getting into the Christmas spirit, then you can now tune into the Heart Xmas radio on your DAB digital radio, Global Player, or via the Heart website.