BOOK lovers are being urged to help boost child literacy and combat book poverty in the town as part of a new regional campaign.

The Gift of Books campaign was launched by the National Literacy Trust and after research revealed that 40,000 children, or one in eight, living in poverty in the Greater Manchester do not own a single book.

To help combat the issue 12 collection points have been set up across the region, where literature lovers can donate books with a note explaining why they loved them — including one at Bolton Boys Junior School. 

The donated books will then be redistributed to children, including pupils from several Radcliffe schools; Gorsefield Primary School, Chapelfield Primary School, Radcliffe Hall Church of England Primary School, and St John's Church of England Primary School.

Ian Cowley, managing director of campaign organisers at, said: “We are looking to change the future of school children in Greater Manchester one book at a time by calling on the surrounding areas of the city to help us donate as many books as possible.

“It is simply wrong that in 2018 so many children have don’t own a single book, a clear sign of imbalance in our society. 

"This spring we hope that the simple act of sharing the book that made a difference to your childhood, will make a critical difference in the lives of the most disadvantaged.”

Research by the Trust also revealed that reading for pleasure is more important for a child's cognitive development and life achievements than their parent's education or socio-economic background. 

It further highlighted that the median hourly wage of workers in England with the highest literacy levels is 94 per cent higher than for workers with the lowest. 

Meanwhile, lower literacy levels are associated with depression, and cost the UK economy an estimated £81 million in lost earnings and increased welfare spending. 

Director of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas, said: “The Gift of Books campaign is an absolutely brilliant way to encourage children in Greater Manchester to fall in love with reading. 

"It will really help to ensure the next generation are better equipped to tackle education, work and life.”

To find your nearest collection point visit

Schools, groups and community centres can also register as a collection point using a sign-up form on the site.