A new initiative will launch in Manchester on World Mental Health Day this Wednesday , to inspire the city to embrace the mood-boosting benefits of reading for 10 minutes every day.

Part of the Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, Take 10 encourages residents of all ages to start a daily reading habit. The initiative celebrates the positive effects of reading for pleasure, including its power to help you relax and escape from the pressures of everyday life.

Recent research from the National Literacy Trust found that children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to have good mental wellbeing than children who don’t.

Among adults, research has found that regular readers for pleasure are less likely to experience feelings of stress and depression than non-readers.

A range of events are set to take place on 10/10 to launch the Take 10 initiative and kick-start daily reading across the city:

The Lord Mayor will join an event at Manchester Central Library, where young people from Manchester’s Writing Squad will unveil their Take 10-inspired writing as part of the prestigious Manchester Literature Festival.

Hosted by property company Bruntwood, local businesses will come together to support Take 10 and learn about the Feeling Good collection – 20 mood-boosting books about common mental health conditions, which 10 businesses will offer to their staff in a pilot project.

Meanwhile 16 representatives from Manchester Airport colleagues will each read a copy of the airport’s new 80th birthday book, Reach for the Sky, to a class of children at Haveley Hey Primary School and give each pupil a copy of the book to take home.

Children’s centres will gift books from Read Manchester to parents and host special sessions where parents and children can read together for 10 minutes.

Loreto High School will hold a whole-school assembly about young people’s health and mental wellbeing, and introduce the Shelf Help collection from the Reading Agency, which will be available in the school library. Read Manchester is supporting nine schools with this collection.

13 libraries across the city will also re-launch their Shelf Help collections during National Libraries Week (8 – 13 October), which this year is wellbeing-themed.

Schools, children’s centres, businesses and other local organisations are encouraged to support the initiative and encourage reading for 10 minutes every day. Ideas and inspiration can be found at readmanchester.org.uk.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, said:

“With reports of rising numbers of children and young people experiencing poor mental health, our Take 10 campaign has never been more timely.

“Research shows that reading just for ten minutes a day can make a real difference to our mood and how we feel, helping us relax and escape from everyday pressures.

“We’re therefore encouraging all young people in the city – along with everyone else – to ‘take 10’ on World Mental Health Day, and get the reading habit to help improve their longer term mental health.”


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