A North East building society is supporting young people in the area with the launch of a children’s book.
The book was written by local children’s author and Darlington Building Society Ambassador Peter Barron, and all proceeds will go towards the Darly Children’s Foundation, a newly-created fund set up to boost literacy in the region. The story features the popular character, Darly, the mascot who supports children to save regularly with the Society.
The proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to purchase books for schools in the region, continuing the Society’s commitment to support the area it serves.
The book, released to coincide with the first birthday of Darly, tells the story of the steam train’s adventure through history.
Darly’s Magical History Ride was launched at The Hullabaloo, the only dedicated children’s theatre outside of London, in front of Society staff and guests including Councillor Cyndi Hughes, Cabinet Member on Darlington Borough Council for Children, Young People and Families, at an event which also celebrated Darly’s first birthday.
Speaking of the importance of children’s literacy at the event, she said: “Education experts recognise the important link between reading skills, especially at primary school level and future academic and employment success. With this in mind, I welcome Darlington Building Society’s powerful initiative to provide books for those that need them most at a time when they can make the most difference.”
The launch event also featured a reading of the book by author, Peter. He said: “Writing for a company with a reputation for investing back into the community made this project especially exciting for me.
“As a father of four, I understand the importance of children reading and letting their imaginations run wild. Books introduce children to wonderful new worlds, expand their vocabularies, and inspire them to be creative themselves.”
Darlington Building Society Chief Executive Colin Fyfe said: “We are all very proud to be able to make a difference to children locally by creating the Darly Children’s Foundation and sharing the proceeds of the book. Darly has become really popular with our regular savers and we are delighted that Peter has been able to bring our little train to life this way.”
Darly’s Magical History Ride is available from Darlington Building Society.