Children’s book awards need help

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THE future of an annual competition that encourages more than a thousand local school pupils to read books is under threat.

The Heart of Hawick Book Awards have been running for five years but organisers and funding are now required so the scheme can continue its positive influence on literacy among youngsters.

The event’s chair, Heather Marshall, left her role when she moved out of the area as husband John Riley, formerly depute head of Trinity school, gained employment elsewhere. Local artist Viv Bannerman shouldered Ms Marshall’s responsibilities thereafter, but she and fellow organiser Suzanne Lockie, who both worked tirelessly to maintain the staging of the event, have now had to step down.

Ms Bannerman said: “I would love to see it carry on. Children have had a fantastic time thanks to the hours of hard work put in by volunteers.”

The programme costs around £4,000 a year to run and offers prizes to pupils for best book reviews. This year, around 1,200 children produced vox pops, videos and animations on the books they read.

Authors from all over Britain attended the prize-giving at Tower Mill Theatre.

Businesses or individuals interested in becoming involved in the awards competition should call Caroline Smith on 860267.