On Wednesday 29 June, the Salford Literacy Trail was officially launched at Bupa Place in Salford Quays. The day saw two fantastic events take place to celebrate and get a glimpse of the twenty BookBenches that will be dotted around Salford during the summer holidays (14 July – 9 September 2022).

In the morning, over 60 Salford schoolchildren arrived at Bupa Place, excited to see the BookBenches. Local artists have been working closely with the children over the past few months to design these Book Benches based on the children’s favourite books and things that make them feel happy, and the children were delighted to see their designs brought to life on the benches.

Author and illustrator Emily Coxhead was in attendance, and she ran a draw-a-long workshop and did a reading from her new children’s book Find Your Happy, which partly inspired the bench that Emily painted for the trail. It was brilliant to see the school groups engaging creatively with the activities and getting inspired to read and feel connected to their emotions.

The launch continued into the evening, when Bupa Place welcomed the bench artists, bench sponsors, local organisations and Salford’s Ceremonial Mayor, along with Bupa and National Literacy Trust staff. Attendees heard from National Literacy Trust CEO Jonathan Douglas, Bupa Foundation Director Anna Russell and the Ceremonial Mayor, who all recognised the joy and community spirit these BookBenches could bring to Salford.

Guests at the morning and evening events were given first look at the trail maps, which will be freely available around Salford. The day had a really positive atmosphere and both children and adults alike were inspired to explore their city and enjoy new adventures through the power of stories and reading.

Bupa Foundation and the National Literacy Trust looks forward to welcoming the people of Salford to come and discover all twenty decorated BookBench sculptures and to check out the other fun ideas, activities and competitions on the website.

Get involved. Follow the trail map – have fun!