Bookworm bikes into Blackpool to boost literary campaign
A young Bolton boy biked into Blackpool to continue his county-wide campaign to promote reading among children his age.
Milan Kumar, nine, arrived in Blackpool on Thursday as part of his 'Fit for Lit' campaign, taking on various fun physical activities while also boosting the importance of reading.
His mum Daxa, 40, said: "There have been a lot of families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and that is something he is aware of. Milan goes to private school, but he's really passionate about helping others who are disadvantaged, and that's why he has been working with the National Literacy Trust in the past 12 months."
Milan was inspired after discovering a love of reading during the first coronavirus lockdown last year, reading 50 different books by authors ranging from David Walliams to JK Rowling and winning praise from the Duchess of Cornwall.
He has raised £5,500 for the National Literacy Trust so far, hiking, cycling, skiing and go-karting in places of great literary history, from the Lake Distract, home to Beatrix Potter, to Cardiff, where Road Dahl was born.
He met the National Literacy Trust's Stephanie Wood, hub manger for the Get Blackpool Reading campaign, at Louie Horrocks Park in Lytham Road, South Shore, along with Revoe, Mereside and The Grange library manager Lois Duxbury and Central Library manager Jools Morgan-Jones. He then jumped on his bike to cycle the Golden Mile, visiting some of his favourite spots including Blackpool Football Club.
Milan said: “During lockdown I felt miserable and unsettled because I couldn’t see my family and friends. This is when I discovered my love for reading and keeping physically active. Reading and exercise helped me to relax and feel better - I want everyone to feel better too.”
Daxa added: "Blackpool has always been a special place for Milan. We've been visiting since he was a baby. You'll often find him on the beach with a book in one hand and an ice cream in the other, and so it seemed like a really good place to come, especially as the Literary Trust has already done a lot of work here pushing the Get Blackpool Reading campaign."
Katharine Tinker-Switzer, fundraising manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “Milan’s fundraising help get books and resources to families who need them most and will also inspire fellow young people to get reading this summer to support their wellbeing.