Award-winning Liverpool author draws on her own childhood to tackle inequalities in education with the launch of this year’s Builder Book Project.
One of the most exciting children’s authors in the UK today, and child mental health campaigner, Natalie Reeves Billing (kneeling at front of main pic) has launched her latest social value project, which aims to ensure every child has equal access to quality and engaging educational and creative resources – giving all children a fair start in life.
Split Perspectivz CIC’s Builder Book UK project is a yearly event, set up four years ago by Natalie and fellow Merseyside children’s author, Jude Lennon, (pictured below left) to deliver thousands of boxes, packs, workshops and events to local children, families, schools and community centres across the Liverpool City Region. This year’s initiative, named Planet Pack 24, was launched by BAFTA and multi-award winning TV personality and LCR cycling and walking commissioner, Simon O’Brien, (far right of picture below ) at an event at the Novotel Liverpool on , September 18, which focussed on the United Nations Global Goals, a framework for a healthier world and better future for everyone.
The carbon zero packs have been produced in collaboration with local creatives, volunteers, and service providers, and contain fun, educational resources, activities and a new picture book written by Natalie and Jude, which will be delivered to over 10,000 economically disadvantaged households across the Liverpool City Region and Deeside in March 2024.
Planet Pack 24 will also address a number of issues raised in the Annual Literacy Survey, a report of over 71,000 children and young people across the country that found the enjoyment of writing was at its lowest level since records began in 2010, and that writing significantly supports children’s well-being.
Speaking about Planet Pack 24 and the importance of the Builder Book UK project, Natalie said: “A mother myself, I’m committed to supporting children during their formative years. I am one of the lucky ones, but I’ve seen only too often how vital the right start in life can be to health, happiness and prosperity. Education shouldn’t be a choice between heating our homes and teaching our children. As a community, we should find a way to raise, encourage, and support our youth, by working together. It is in everyone’s interests to create a kinder, fairer world, but this can only be achieved through the medium of education – giving youngsters the tools they need to succeed and thrive from an early age – and helping children keep that joyous outlook towards discovery as they enter a new world that welcomes them with open arms, no matter their background. This year’s eco theme focuses on the United Nations Global Goals, a framework for a healthier world and better future for everyone.”