Spectrum readers and art lovers are all smiles with Abbeycentre Specsavers book donation
Members of three clubs and groups at Shankill Road’s community focussed Spectrum Centre have benefited from a Specsavers ‘Stories to Make You Smile’ book donation as a follow-on from this year’s highly successful World Book Night celebration of reading and books initiative.
Abbeycentre Specsavers store provided 24 copies of the specially commissioned book which will be read, shared and enjoyed by members of Spectrum’s Chatty Tuesday arts and craft club, its official Book Club as well as its Women’s Art Group.
The book which features uplifting tales by bestselling authors including well-known television names Richard Madeley, Jenny Éclair and Helen Lederer, was co-commissioned by Specsavers and The Reading Agency to mark this year’s 10th World Book Night extravaganza held earlier this year during April.
Spectrum Women’s Art Group is a group of 16 mainly older ladies who love the arts in all forms. They meet weekly for hands on practical art workshops, but also go on gallery visits, trips to theatre and other arts events.
Chatty Tuesday is Spectrum Centre’s sociable arts and crafts club. It was set up to tackle social isolation in the Greater Shankill area and during lockdown periods the club has kept going and in touch with members by sending them work packs, letters, cards and small chocolate treats.
The centre’s Spectrum Book Club was set up over eight years ago and members meet monthly for a ‘cuppa and chat’ swapping and discussing books that everyone has read in a light-hearted and informal atmosphere.
Sally Young from Spectrum says, ‘As an organization dedicated to the local community we’re thrilled to partner and forge links with our business and retail neighbours. This book donation from Abbeycentre Specsavers will be shared and enjoyed by our book and art club members. We deliver an extensive range of programmes to help benefit and develop opportunities for everyone in the area.’
Tony McGinn, optometry director at Newtownabbey Specsavers says:
‘It was a pleasure to donate these specially written books to local groups in the Shankill area and I hope everyone who borrows a copy of the book really enjoys it. Reading enables all of us to delve into other worlds as well improve our ability to think, write and challenge ourselves and of course it helps our overall health and wellbeing.’
Established by UK wide charity The Reading Agency, World Book Night each year aims to bring people together and inspire others to read more. Well-known Belfast author Glenn Patterson’s latest novel Where Are We Now was one of 22 books chosen to be part of this year’s official World Book Night reading list. The book is a moving, funny and topical story about lost love and growing older, set against a backdrop of modern-day Belfast.
In Northern Ireland, World Book Night was supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the MAC and Libraries NI who came together to encourage everyone to settle down and curl up with a book and enjoy the annual reading celebration. The Arts Council and the MAC gifted 160 free copies of Glenn Patterson’s featured book to community groups, book clubs and members of the public.
Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented, ‘Experiencing the joy of reading is something that we can benefit from and this year, more than ever, reading and having a story to escape into has taken on a renewed importance in so many of our lives.
“We had a fantastic response to World Book Night in Northern Ireland and it is wonderful to see another local community group benefitting from the initiative, thanks to Specsavers.’