South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust

Popular Ormsgill Book Festival returns

A popular community event will return next week with the chance for children across Furness to meet top authors.

The Ormsgill Book Festival will see around 600 children attending from primary schools across Barrow and meeting their favourite authors and illustrators.

Vashti Hardy, who is a Blue Peter Book Award winner, Chris Mould, Tom Palmer, Peter Bently and Dan Worsley will be visiting to deliver workshops and answer questions about their books and their careers as authors.

The event, held at Ormsgill School, is organised by Year 3 teacher Laura Reid who is the school’s lead for maths and ICT, and shares her passion for literature to inspire all her students to read.

Seven other schools Cambridge, Chetwynde, Sacred Heart, St George’s, South Walney Infants, South Walney Juniors and Victoria Academy will be attending.

Mick Cull, who is head of Ormsgill School which joins South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust in September 2022, said the event is so important for the community, which is situated in an area of deprivation with low levels of literacy.

“Laura was inspired to set the event up after visiting the book festival at Wray Castle and realising it was not open to Barrow schools.

“She did not let this stand in her way and single-handedly organised her own overcoming the challenges of getting nationally-renowned authors to visit South Cumbria and co-ordinating all the travel and accommodation for them during their stay.”

Not only has the avid reader organised a huge number of online sessions with well-known authors such as Michael Rosen and Floella Benjamin during Covid, with other school staff she helped set up a special reading area for the children to enjoy. The area is a cosy room filled with cushions and blankets, perfect for any child who wants to sit comfortably and get stuck in to a good book.

“Laura has helped develop a real love for reading both in her own class and across school. The children leave the sessions inspired and are desperate to read more,” he said.

Her pupils are full of praise for their teacher and the event.

“Mrs Reid helped me write a letter to Clara Vulliamy – she’s my favourite author – and she wrote back and even sent me one of her new books, it was so exciting!” Amillia (aged 7)

“Mrs Reid has introduced us to lots of new books. My favourite author is Steven Lenton. I love reading. When I read, I feel happy and calm” Quaid (aged 7)

The event runs on Thursday 30th June all day. There are limited spaces still available. Schools can contact 


South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
c/o Chetwynde School Croslands
Rating Lane, Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria LA13 0NY

Company number 13414087 registered in England.
Tel: 01229 824 210
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust