MP Steve Barclay wants every Year 4 pupil in Fenland to have a new book of their own as he launches ‘Read to Succeed’ campaign

Read to Succeed logo

Read to Succeed logo - Credit: Archant

A free reading book for every eight and nine-year-old in MP Steve Barclay’s constituency is the aim of a new campaign launched this week.

Mepal and Witcham School

Mepal and Witcham School - Credit: Archant

A free reading book for every eight and nine-year-old in MP Steve Barclay’s constituency is the aim of a new campaign launched this week.

Throughout June, with the support of partners including the Bishop of Ely, primary schools, libraries and this newspaper, Mr Barclay will be running a charitable initiative to improve literacy during the summer holidays. The Read to Succeed campaign seeks wants residents across North East Cambridgeshire to buy a children’s book for every Year 4 pupil in the constituency, which in turn links to a host of programmes being run by local libraries during the school holiday.

Mr Barclay said: “Author, journalist and philosopher born in Fenland, William Godwin once said ‘He that loves reading has everything within his reach’ and for me this rings true. Reading regularly and for fun can open up new worlds, new ideas and new possibilities for children.

“A specific point raised with me, when I visit schools across the constituency, is that many children fail to make progress during the summer holiday, when they are out of school. Read to Succeed aims to help combat this. In the back of every book donated, we will place a library token, which each child can take to their local library and take part in the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge.”

Steve Barclay and Andrew Read

Steve Barclay and Andrew Read - Credit: Archant

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read six books of their choice throughout the school summer holiday and once completed, children will receive a certificate at an awards ceremony. But this is not all, there are also prizes on offer for the schools with the most children who complete the Summer Reading Challenge. Prizes which can be won include:

• Free screening of The BFG at The Light, Wisbech

Most Read

• Free fun swimming session at a local swimming pool

• Free school visit from Fossils Galore, March

PLUS individual winners will win a tour around the Houses of Parliament

However, before all these fantastic prizes can be won, we must first receive donations of books, which is why Mr Barclay is asking all businesses, community groups and individuals in Fenland to donate new books from the recommended list which can be found on this paper’s website and also on Mr Barclay’s own website.

All books have been specially chosen by teachers and librarians and cover a wide range of abilities and interests so all children can enjoy the magic of reading.

Mr Barclay added: “I hope that constituents will join the Bishop of Ely, local head teachers and above all students, to allow for some children their very first book to own and for others the excitement of having something new to read over the summer. 1,285 books will allow us to give every child in Year 4 a new book and should we receive more, we will be able to roll it out to further year groups.

“We will also use the evidence we gather from the scheme in terms of children taking part in the summer reading challenge to bid for lottery funding next year to help schools across the constituency on literacy.”

Read to Succeed How to donate

• Go to or and follow the link to the Waterstones Wishlist

• Add your favourite titles from the Wishlist to your basket and continue to the online checkout

• Buy the books as you would any other purchase online, however, under delivery address put: Steve Barclay MP, Cromwell House, Wisbech Road, MARCH, PE15 8EB

• Alternatively you can purchase any of the requested titles at any store and deliver them to any of the following:

• Etcetera

7 York Row



PE13 1EB

• March Town Council

Town Hall

Market Place


PE15 9JF

• Wisbech Town Council

1 North Brink


PE13 1JR

• Whittlesey Town Council

Grosvenor House

Grosvenor Road



• WHSmith

36 Market Street



PE13 1DL