Bus passengers in Southend, students at Highlands College in Jersey and cleaners and teaching staff at De Montfort University are just some of the people being recruited for this year's Six Book Challenge.
Mandy Ashton, Interim Chief Operating Officer (pictured above), recently launched the third year of the scheme at De Montfort University in Leicester: "There's evidence that reading has a positive impact on your health, and can improve your psychological state. I have signed up and I plan to read every night with my son."
UNISON learning rep Andrew Jennison, who masterminds the Challenge at De Montfort with librarian Carol Keddie, says that 174 staff have registered so far. Last year 102 participants completed the scheme for which they won a silver award. Staff sign up for a range of reasons from wanting to improve their skills to making more time for reading for pleasure.
Beverly Lambie from the Research Business Innovation Office said: "Having to write about a book you have read makes you think more about what you are reading. I've found the Six Book Challenge to be incredibly useful." The Challenge is supported by DMU's Unison Lifelong Learning Team, HR Training and Development, and Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing.
Meanwhile 20 bus shelters in Southend are featuring giant Six Book Challenge posters for six weeks as part of Southend Libraries' recruitment drive for the scheme. As Community & Diversity Manager Simon Wallace reports, registrations are nearing 200 with new participants this week including a mental health group, a library book group for parents at a local primary school, some readers from a women's refuge and a couple of young men from a homeless project.
And well over 60 students at Highlands College in Jersey have signed up. This is despite the disappointment that snow put a stop to Andy McNab's visit to the college as 'prize' for the winners of the 2012 college draw.
Anita Eastwood, Learning Resources Centre Manager, explains the secrets of her success with the Challenge over the last five years. "How do I get participants on board? Biscuits! Seriously though, there is an onslaught of emails, displays and badgering that goes on as well as visits to classes. We have some amazing tutors that are 100% behind the Challenge. 'Word of mouth' does an excellent job too with past participants singing the praises of taking part. The interest has spread throughout the College from literacy classes, engineering, ESOL and Skills for Life to Health & Social Care. This year I am determined to get at least 100 registered for this wonderful scheme that does so much for self-motivation and confidence."
If you would like to take part in the Six Book Challenge contact your local public library.
Do tell us your story about being part of or running the Six Book Challenge - we'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch with Genevieve Clarke.
If you work at a public library, college, prison or work place and are interested in running the Six Book Challenge visit our resources page.