The essential journalist news source
Bradford literacy project is nominated as Garden Centre Charity of the Year

Bradford literacy project is nominated as Garden Centre Charity of the Year


The team at Tong Garden Centre has announced that a Bradford initiative of a national literacy charity will be its Charity of the Year for 2019.


The team at Tong aims to raise £10,000 for Bradford Storiesthrough a series of fund-raising events and collection boxes at the tills.Bradford Stories is an initiative from the National Literacy Trust and Bradford Council to improve literacy levels in the city by promoting reading, writing, speaking and listening.


Indoor Manager Dennis Keen heads up the Charity Committee at the Tong Lane business and is delighted to be supporting Bradford Stories: "We're planning a whole host of fun initiatives for staff and customers to get involved with throughout the year, and we're launching our campaign with the Tour De Yorkshire Ride on 5thMay that will be led by our Managing Director, Mark Farnsworth and a team that includes directors, staff, suppliers and friends.


"The group hopes to raise £4,000 from the tough 78k ride on some of the sameroads as the fourth and final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire pro race."


Imran Hafeez, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford, said:

"We are absolutely delighted that Tong Garden Centre have chosen the National Literacy Trust as their charity of the year. Since launching Bradford Stories, we have delivered lots of inspiring projects and achieved great results.


"However, there is still much more to be done and our partnerships with businesses are vital to ensure that every child in Bradford has the literacy skills they need to succeed. With the backing of fantastic Bradford businesses like Tong Garden Centre, we have the power to transform lives through literacy, creating a society where all children and young people have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential."


According to the National Literacy Trust,lastyear,onein three children in Bradfordleftprimaryschoolunabletoreadwell and research shows that there is a strong link between low educational attainment and high poverty. In fact, BradfordisrepeatedlyrankedamongstthemostdeprivedplacesinEngland;insomepartsnearly halfofadults(47.2%)haveliteracyskillslowerthanthoseexpectedofan11-year-oldandoneadultinthree is held back by lowliteracy.These adults are far more likely to struggle to find a job and on becoming parents they will be unable to support their children's literacy development.

"The community is at the heart of everything we do at Tong and we're delighted to be able to help children and young people to grow by unlocking the opportunities that being able to read brings," Tong's Marketing Manager Jo Dales concludes.


The Bradford Stories campaign focuses on sharing stories across the city, engaging dads in their child's learning and the benefits of bilingualism. 


Tong Garden Centre occupies a 14 acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire's biggest garden centres with 110,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 1,000 cars.




Photograph caption:

On the back row, left to right: Dennis Keen, Edwina Whitwam, John Bamforth

Front row: Asif Khan and Helen Verity from The National Literacy Trust NLT



For more information or to arrange an interview with Dennis Keen or Jo Dales, please contact Tracey Baty at three60 marketing on;


Direct line:01430 871360

Mobile:07971 961574



Notes to editors


  1. The National Literacy Trust is the UK's largest independent literacy charity. They work to ensure that disadvantaged children have the literacy skills they need to succeed in education and life. They work where deprivation meets intergenerational low literacy and support families, children and young people in schools and communities to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening. For more information about the National Literary Trust, please visit