Falkirk's Helix has novel approach to national reading initiative

Visitors to Falkirk’s world famous Kelpies helped support the national reading initiative Keep the Heid and Read this week.

By James Trimble
Friday, 6th May 2022, 4:37 pm
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 4:44 pm

A pop-up library appeared at Helix on Thursday to encourage visitors and local residents to take time out of their busy day to dip into a book or two.

Put in place by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), with the help of Falkirk Council, the public were seen pledging their support for the Keep the Heid and Read campaign.

The initiative encourages people of all ages and abilities to read every day to boost their mental health and well being – starting with a pledge to read for just six minutes on May 11.

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The pop up library at the Helix aimed to promote the national reading initiative

The Scotland-wide initiative aims to promote positive and easy-to-implement changes, with research showing reading for six minutes a day can reduce stress by 68 per cent in people of all ages.

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Lesley O’Hare, Falkirk Council cultural services manager, said: “The Helix,hHome of the Kelpies is delighted to support the Keep the Heid and Read campaign and hope to see many of our park’s visitors enjoying our beautiful green spaces, while also finding time to dip into a book – or a comic, or a magazine.”

Approaching Mental Health Week 2022 – which runs from May 9 to May 15 – the Keep the Heid and Read campaign signals the perfect opportunity to take stock and establish a regular reading habit.

SLIC chief executive Pamela Tulloch said: “Reading for pleasure can have a huge impact on our mental health, and that’s why we’re hoping as many people as possible will pledge their support and take part in the national reading moment to see what it could do for their own well being.

“With our local libraries full of great reading material – whether you’re looking for books, comics, poetry or even a recipe book – there’s an abundance of free reading material on our doorsteps, whatever your interests.

"So now is the time to reconnect with your local library services, sign up to pledge just six minutes of reading on 11 May, and then make these healthy habits part of daily life.”