Writer Matthew Bellwood inspires young readers in Leeds

Caption: Leeds writer Matthew Bellwood with pupils from Ingram Road Primary School

A group of schoolchildren in Leeds enjoyed a storytelling session with a difference recently when they were joined by local writer Matthew Bellwood.

Pupils from Ingram Road Primary School took part in the session, which saw the popular Leeds writer read from his story ‘The Odyssey Part 1 (Odysseus and the Cyclops)’ during one of Leeds City Council’s regular mobile library visits to the school in Holbeck.

Matthew’s visit coincided with the council-managed ‘Breezereads Bookfest’, which featured a series of events aimed at encouraging children and young people to take up and improve their reading skills.

Leeds writer Matthew Bellwood said:

“I remember how excited I used to be as a little boy when I knew the mobile library would be coming - it meant that there would be new authors to discover and new stories to read. And these days there is so much more choice, plus fun activities and access to the internet.

“I really enjoyed visiting the children and family mobile library and it was great telling the story of ‘The Cyclops’ to the children. They listened beautifully and were keen to ask questions and find out more about Greek myths and legends. I had a lovely morning and I hope that they did too.”

The children and family mobile is one of six operated by the council’s library and information service which were accessed by more than over 6,500 people last year – a rise of over 10 per cent on the previous 12 months.

The mobile fleet, which also contains three community mobiles stocking books for people of all ages and two older people vehicles with stock aimed at older people, visit a total of more than 200 locations across the city every week.

Taking a modern library service including public internet access to the heart of communities in Leeds, the fleet currently travels 82,750 miles each year – which is the equivalent of three-and-a-half times around the world or a third of the distance to the moon.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“We are very grateful to Matthew Bellwood for giving up his time to take part in the reading session. It was great for the young people to get to meet such an esteemed local writer and hopefully it will inspire them to continue to develop their reading.

“The mobile library fleet in Leeds offers an invaluable service, taking not just books but a wide a wide range of services including internet access to people’s doorsteps. For anyone who has not seen what a modern mobile library has to offer it is well worth a visit and I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.”

The Leeds library service is a supporter of child friendly Leeds, the ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future.

For more information on the mobile library service in Leeds including routes and timings, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Mobile-library-service.aspx

Notes to editors:

Further detail on the mobile library fleet run by Leeds library and information service:

Community mobiles

Provide a weekly service, following a regular timetable and carry around 2,500 items of stock, for both adults and children, plus public internet access.

Children and family mobile

Designed especially for young children and their families, with 1500 items specially selected to appeal to children: board and picture books, popular stories and resources to help with homework. Parents and carers can choose from a selection of novels and information books, and access the internet. There's also a cosy seating area for storytelling and a pull-out awning outside the vehicle.

Mobile for older people

Two small vehicles with 1000 items of stock make fortnightly visits to our older borrowers and stop close to residential homes and sheltered housing complexes, making access easier for anyone with limited mobility. For more information www.leeds.gov.uk/libraries

For more information on the child friendly Leeds initiative go to www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds

For more information on Matthew Bellwood, visit his website at www.somestories.co.uk/wp/


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk