Top author Tom Palmer has seen first-hand the transformational role of reading in the workplace. On 7 May he visited Sainsbury's Distribution Centre on the Haydock Industrial Estate in St Helens to see how the Rugby League World Cup 2013 version of the Six Book Challenge has been run to encourage sports fans to develop a reading for pleasure habit.
Six Book Challenge participation at the Centre has been led by Usdaw/Unite Learning representatives in partnership with Sainsbury's, supported by specially branded RLWC 2013 materials and incentives.
Combining reading and sport
Tom, who is renowned for his books on football (including Football Academy, Foul Play and The Squad), treated Sainsbury's staff to his Football Reading Game, a quiz about different football reads followed by a penalty shoot out. (Left, Tom Palmer with Six Book Challenge completer Martin Dixon)
The Six Book Challenge has been offered and supported by Usdaw at Sainsbury's Distribution Centre since 2012, with over 150 employees undertaking the Challenge since then. Tom Palmer's visit was their reward for getting 173 employees involved in the Rugby League World Cup 2013 version of the Challenge.
Reading makes you happier
Tom Palmer says: "I didn't read for pleasure until I was an adult. But once I did it gave me confidence, opportunities and - most of all - it made me happier. That's what I think the Six Book Challenge does, and that's why I am happy to support it."
Tom has also written several books for award-wining publisher Barrington Stoke, whose books are designed to help parents and teachers break down the barriers that can stop children reading. These include football stories, Ghost Stadium, Secret FC and Over the Line, and a rugby novel called Scrum!. We recently announced a new partnership with Barrington Stoke to offer less confident adult readers free copies of picture books to read with their children
"We're delighted to have Tom's support," says Genevieve Clarke, who leads our adult literacy work. "He's able to make reading compelling, relevant and accessible for people who previously thought it wasn't for them - which is what the Six Book Challenge is all about."
Usdaw representative Kevin Callow says: "The Six Book Challenge has proved to be very popular amongst our fellow colleagues and we've had great feedback on how some of them had got back into reading following the campaign". (Kevin Callow is pictured left with Tom Palmer and Usdaw Union Learning Rep Mike Iddon)
Unite representative Mick Southern says: "Currently we're getting a great response to this year's Six Book Challenge and are on course for another successful campaign".
If you run the Six Book Challenge in your workplace take a look at our tips for getting more people involved.
Read about how completing the Six Book Challenge has changed Martin Dixon's life.
Find out more about resources for running the Six Book Challenge at your workplace.
If you're taking part in the 2014 Challenge you can find your next read on the Six Book Challenge website.