A NEW chapter has beckoned for around 50 children in Helensburgh, who have signed up to a programme giving young people more chances to enjoy reading.

The youngsters have benefited from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which was launched by Helensburgh Community Hub last year.

The programme, which is funded through sales from the Hub's Book Nook community bookshop, provides free books every month to all pre-school children in the Hub catchment area of Helensburgh Central and Helensburgh East.

Reflecting on its success so far, Gill Simpson, Hub development manager, said: “We are delighted that we’ve got our first 50 children signed up already. Not only does the programme inspire a love of reading, which gives youngsters a great start in life, but it also encourages families to enjoy time together and that is really important too.

“We would love more pre-schoolers out there to register and receive a free book every single month until they turn five. It’s really easy to check if you are in our coverage area by going to the Imagination Library website and popping in your postcode.

“If anyone wants to support us getting more books into the hands of more children then please do get in touch.”

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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting programme devoted to inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children everywhere. With help from local partners, the first Imagination Library book was gifted in the UK in 2008 and the scheme has grown every year since then, reaching more and more children each month.

In November, the Advertiser told how the programme would be offered in the hub’s core areas, with a view to extending its reach over time.

Mum Talia Amygdalias, who recently registered her daughter Nayadie, said: “Our little one absolutely loves this month's book. We’ve read it every night since it’s arrived. Can’t wait for the next one.”

Helensburgh Community Hub is fundraising to extend the coverage area to the whole of the town. Donations can be made to support the project at the Imagination Library website. Anyone keen to check if they live in the coverage area can go to imaginationlibrary.com/uk and put in their postcode.

Anyone with questions about the Imagination Library can pop into the Book Nook when it's open or contact Hub development manager, Gill Simpson, on 01436 678088 or at manager@helensburghcommunityhub.org.uk.