Iconic poet Ted helps inspire writers of the future

A BUSINESS and community hub celebrating world-famous poet Ted Hughes aims to help children get into reading as “There’s a book out there for everybody”, according to the manager of a new literacy project.

Mexborough Business Centre, located in the old grammar school on College Road, is the home of a giant mural of the iconic Iron Man, the children’s book character created by school old boy Hughes.

And Philip Sheppard, a project manager for National Literacy Trust, said activities were being organised to help children fall in love with books and poems.

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He said: “We work with schools and communities in order to get children reading, writing, speaking and listening.

“Ted Hughes was a world-famous writer who wrote children’s books and poems.

“The Iron Man is used in most primary schools in the country — it’s a really good hook to get children into reading.

“We use the hook to work with children and make literacy fun and inspiring.

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“We explore the work of Ted Hughes but we also have workshops and drama in this building.

“Children find the fact that this world-famous writer came from their town to really inspirationational.

“The book is very popular.

“It’s mysterious, it’s an adventure with a very relatable central character, in this young boy who finds the Iron Man.”

Philip said getting more people and schools involved as reading was “the key” to children’s success.

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He said: “Reading has been proven to be the one key factor in a child’s success.

“So we’re here to get them to read and it opens up so many opportunities.

“Reading is a personal choice.

“We believe there’s a book out there for everybody.”

A Blue Plaque Trail previewed in last week’s Weekender, which was due to culminate in an unveiling of a new plaque for Ted Hughes outside the business centre, was postponed due following the death of the Queen.

It is being rearranged by the organisers, with a new date to be announced shortly.


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