‘Storybook Dads’ is an initiative started in Devon, UK to help connect prisoners with their children. In 2002, Sharon Berry worked as a volunteer at HMP Channings Wood where she noticed how difficult it was for the prisoners to stay in touch with their children. After working with the Writer in Residence, Sharon moved to HMP Dartmoor where she started the scheme ‘Storybook Dads’ with a handful of children’s books and a microphone. News soon spread about the scheme and many more prisons wanted to join, prompting Sharon to start a Storybook Dads charity to gain funding.
Today the programme helps prisoners from all over the UK, including women’s prisons and youth offenders’ institutes. As well as audio CDs, they create DVDs, help train prisoners in editing and audio, and offer workshops for prisoners to create educational gifts for their children.
Sharon Berry records a father while he reads.
Over 5,000 prisoners a year are helped by Storybook Dads, and they have won various awards for family support, social change, and children’s needs.
With many prisoners worrying about their children’s mental health while they are apart, the scheme helps comfort the child while also helping the prisoner feel connected to their family.
Watch the Ted Talk below to see the real difference the scheme has made in helping heal families torn apart by imprisonment.
Just press play and drag your screen around to look around the entire bookshop, and make sure you have the volume up, as Neil is telling us all about the features inside. Listen out for the Pratchett tribute too!
The photograph and frame were owned by Du Maurier’s close friend, Maureen Baker-Munton, who had kept over 40 years worth of correspondence between them. After Baker-Munton’s son put the collection up for auction the letters were discovered by Roddy Lloyd, the auctioneer responsible for selling the items.
The auctioneer was cataloguing the archive when he decided to look more closely at the photograph of young Du Maurier at the beach. “We were going through the last box of documents on my kitchen table, when for some reason I decided to take the picture out to have a better look. When I took it out of the frame, out popped these poems. It looks like they’re from around the 1920s.”
The ring was brought to jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow by an unnamed woman who claimed it belonged to her late father-in-law.
The ring contains an inscription inside, which bears the name of the author, and the date of her death- 1855. The excited woman explained: “I’ve got goosebumps now thinking about it. It’s got a hinge on it, and inside there’s plaited hair, I think it may be the hair of Charlotte Brontë!”
Geoffrey Munn told the lucky Antiques Roadshow visitor that he had ‘very little reason to doubt’ the ring’s authenticity.
The list, created by Blackwell’s booksellers, publishers, authors, and friends of the bookshop will mark an all year celebration of the anniversary of the bookshops.