Bringing the joy of reading to GOSH

18 Mar 2024, 1:54 p.m.

MC Grammar at World Book Day event, standing next to smiling GOSH patient

Earlier this month, we joined the charity World Book Day® and Yoto to bring the joy of reading and storytelling to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

On 7 March, children, families and staff at GOSH experienced the magic of World Book Day® through an event we hosted in the hospital's Lagoon.

World Book Day’s mission is to encourage a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure. This year, the charity supported us here at GOSH Charity to provide children with access to reading in a unique way.

As part of a pilot programme, Yoto – official audio partner for World Book Day and a new corporate partner of GOSH Charity – donated the innovative Yoto player to GOSH’s expert Play team, to help ignite children’s imaginations through stories.

This is a part of a commitment by Yoto to raise £100k for GOSH Charity across a multi-year partnership.

Experiencing the magic of reading

Our World Book Day event at GOSH involved a fun-packed schedule of activities.

Children experienced the magic of choosing their own book at a pop-up bookshop, which invited them to exchange their £1 World Book Day tokens for a free book.

A further selection of audiobooks are also available for free via the Yoto App and on World Book Day’s website.

The host of the hugely popular Yoto Daily podcast Jake Harris recorded a live World Book Day themed podcast episode. This is will soon be available to listen to on the Yoto app.

Surprise guests included World Book Day authors Mark and Roxanne Hoyle – aka LadBaby – Tọlá Okogwu, Jennifer Killick and illustrator Paula Bowles as well as World Book Day ambassador MC Grammar who entertained the children and families with readings, a rap session, and a fun draw-along.

Elmer the Elephant and Greg the Sausage Roll also popped by to say ‘Happy World Book Day!’ too.

GOSH patient interacts with stand at World Book Day event

Inspiring patients’ imaginations

Sallyanne Pitt, Head of Play at GOSH, said the Play team were thrilled that GOSH Charity hosted GOSH’s first ever World Book Day event.

“We are very grateful to Yoto for their donation of Yoto Players through the new partnership with GOSH Charity,” she added.

“Our ambition as a Play team is to bring joy and distraction to children through the toughest of times and using the power of storytelling to inspire our patients’ imaginations is a hugely impactful way of doing this.”

Lizzie Penn, Senior Play Specialist at GOSH, described the day as "a huge success".

"To see so many happy relaxed faces was a joy - as the patients took part in World Book Day celebrations that they may have otherwise missed out on.

"The entertainment was magical and kept everyone engaged. The characters that toured the wards brought so much joy.

"Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this wonderful event."

You can find out more about the charity World Book Day by visiting its website.