Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Imagine Nation/Turner House Launch. Turner House, 6 Pevensey Road TN38 0JZ

Imagine Nation/Turner House Launch. Christine Folley (Linus Quilts), Mayor Judy Rogers, Dolly P, Annalise Elam (Imagine Nation), Peter Cocker (The Rotary Club of Senlac).

Imagination Library launches in St Leos

Imagination Library, Dolly Parton’s visionary project to bring books to all children, was officially launched in St Leonards at Turner House. The scheme encourages young children to read books with those people who look after their well-being.

Guests included Mayor Judy Rogers, local councillors and representatives from the Rotary Club of Senlac, the initial sponsors of the local scheme. Imagine Nation, the local charity bringing Imagination Library to Hastings and St Leonards, provides free books on a monthly basis for children from birth until their fifth birthday.

Local primary school teacher Annalise Elam has been determined to bring the scheme to the local area. Annalise approached the Rotary Club of Senlac who provided help and funding to provide books to children locally.

Turner House, which offers accommodation and support services to single young women and lone parents from the age of 16, was selected for the first tranche. In February 2016, 10 children at Turner House received their first books. Since then, each of these children has received one book each month, posted to their home.

These children have been funded by the Rotary Club of Senlac to continue to receive these books until the age of five. The children have also received handmade quilts created by members of Linus Quilts. Imagine Nation can now continue to sign up new children who arrive at Turner House (and fund them until they are five) thanks to funding from Good Gifts.

80 million books are posted out worldwide each month by Imagination Library. Since the launch in the UK in 2007, 28,000 children have been signed up to receive a book each month, selected by a panel of experts in early learning and literacy and published by Penguin Random House. Each child in the scheme from birth to the age of five will build up a library of 60 books. Studies on the effect of children in the scheme have shown that school readiness has increased dramatically.

Imagine Nation/Turner House Launch. Turner House, 6 Pevensey Road TN38 0JZ

Imagine Nation/Turner House Launch. Turner House, 6 Pevensey Road TN38 0JZ

Future fund raising

Imagine Nation is looking for people to help raise funds. This might take the form of  organising events, completing funding applications or building further links locally.


Hastings Town Singers will give an uplifting, fun concert in support of Imagine Nation and other local charities, on Saturday 22 October, St John’s Church, Brittany Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, starting at 3pm.

Hastings Half Marathon Imagine Nation want to get as many people as possible joining Hastings Half Marathon in support of Imagine Nation. Some local runners have already planned on getting dressed up as Dolly Parton for this event. Can you help us reach our target of at least 100 Dolly Partons participating in the half-marathon?

Pier event May 2017 – details to be announced.


Imagine Nation is reliant on support from sponsors to provide the books, and the more sponsors there are, the more young children can be helped. For more information about Imagine Nation, please contact Annalise by e-mail at

Imagine Nation East Sussex Facebook page

Twitter: @ImagineHastings

The Imagination Library was launched by Dolly Parton in her American home town of Tennessee in 1995, when she realised the benefits that her father would have had, had he not been illiterate. Determined not to let this illiteracy continue into future generations, she set up the Dollywood Foundation which provides books for young children on a monthly basis. Local schemes have since been launched worldwide (see

Posted 09:26 Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 In: Literature

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