Topic Heroes, an initiative designed to motivate and inspire young writers in primary schools in the UK by encouraging creative writing projects culminating in the production of a professionally printed book for each child to dedicate to a family member or friend, is seeking sponsors at a number of levels to make this a reality.

Developed by Nutshell Creative in conjunction with the University of Bedfordshire, whose research was supported by Whitmar Publications, the publisher of Digital Printer, Digital Labels & Packaging and FlexoTech magazines, the programme is currently being piloted by Huddersfield Town Football Clubinitiative. It aims to provide every primary school-aged child in the UK with the opportunity to create and receive a printed copy of a book unique to them.

‘Below-functional literacy is estimated to affect nine million adults in the UK, resulting in a greater chance of unemployment and represents a cost the UK economy of some £36 billion in lost revenue, while some 380,000 UK children are thought not to own a book,’ explained Nutshell managing director Lucy Swanston.

‘The World Literacy Foundation Annual Report 19/20 identified a need for quality educational resources to inspire children to write, so Topic Heroes has been developed to capture children’s imagination and get them excited about topic-based learning. It will also build confidence, enjoyment and ownership of learning, while developing ICT (information and communications technology) skills,’ she added.

The programme, which has already been trialled in 25 UK primary schools, involves pupils creating their own books on-screen, based on one of a wide range of school subject-related topics, with guidance from teachers, and receiving professionally printed and bound copies of their books when completed. It has been supported by the Premier League’s Primary Stars outreach project and by Huddersfield Town FC and has received positive feedback from children, teachers and parents. Research was presented at the World Literacy Summit 2020

The programme has secured initial funding and is now actively seeking sponsors at a range of levels, from topic and category sponsors to headline sponsors. ‘Topic Heroes is an ideal CSR programme to get involved with; it’s an ‘out of the box’ initiative that is already proven to make a positive impact on young children,’ said Ms Swanston.

‘We want the print industry to get behind this and help create a societal change, blending digital with physical so that putting printed pages in the hands of young children will become normal to them, like engaging grassroots fans to become future fans of football. As an industry if we can normalise this we create a sustainable platform for future generations to embrace print. We will also be creating new printed pages,’ she added.

Prospective partners can find out more at