Friday, September 19, 2014

News: Airmaster backs Grimm Rotherham literacy project

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Airmaster, a leading energy efficient heating and cooling company, is supporting Grimm & Co, a new Yorkshire literacy charity based in Rotherham.

Based at Swallownest, Airmaster design, install and maintain bespoke, energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems for a range of market sectors.

Grimm & Co, based in Rotherham town centre and working around the region, aims to unlock imaginations, engage, enthuse and inspire children and young people in the literary arts. Rothbiz featured the innovate project and its aims to create a fantastical retail destination in Rotherham to inspire children to work without knowing they are working, and increase participation in literacy projects through a creative writing and mentoring centre.

Airmaster's resources director Lisa Pogson has joined the board of the charity. She said: "I met Deborah Bullivant, who is director at Grimm & Co, on the women in business group I help lead at Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber, when she had just started raising funds for the charity and forming local links. It all connected to the community, helping with literacy, reading and learning which has been so important on my own journey, so I immediately felt compelled to help in some way. Deborah is an amazing lady and before I knew it I was on the charity board, volunteering!"
The idea for Grimm & Co. was inspired by the Dave Eggers' 2008 TED Talk on people engaging with local schools, the work of 826 Valencia that he established in San Francisco (a Pirate Supply Store), and the Ministry of Stories in London (Hoxton St. Monster Supplies).

In its first 18 months, Ministry of Stories engaged over 1,000 volunteers, worked with over 5,000 local children and young people to produce writing of all forms, and attracted donations from more than 1,000 individuals.

Backed by innovation charity, Nesta, the organisation is working with a handful of associate projects with the aim of identifying strong candidates to open new pilot chapters of the initiative. Ultimately, the team wants to see a Ministry of Stories in every community that can support one.

Lisa added: "Every study into literacy shows it has a massive effect on people's life chances. It cannot be right that last year, English 16 to 24 year olds came 22nd out of 24 countries measured for literacy levels by the OECD. It is vital that children enjoy reading – reading for pleasure is more important than either wealth or social class as an indicator of success at school. Yet I hear from the Reading Agency only 40% of England's ten year olds have a positive attitude to reading - a tide this project aims to turn.

"Airmaster is also collecting items for the Apothecary, the shop that will help to sustain the Grimm & Co writing centre, for which we have exciting plans afoot this year."

Grimm & Co. is currently recruiting for volunteers and commissioning artists on a freelance basis to undertake a range of projects. 

Airmaster website
Grimm & Co. website

Images: Grimm & Co.

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