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Bradford Garden Centre launches competition to support literacy project

Bradford Garden Centre launches competition to support literacy project


The team at Tong Garden Centre is building on its partnership with the National Literacy Trust's Bradford Stories campaign by launching a competition to win prizes to play at its new indoor play area.


Pupils at more than 20 Bradford schools selected by the National Literacy Trust are being invited to create a name and a story for one of two new characters at Grass Hoppers indoor play that opens this summer.


"We want to celebrate the opening of the new indoor play in a way that supports the great work of Bradford Stories, so we have launched this competition to encourage children to be creative in naming and describing one of the new characters that will join Hopper and his gang in bringing Grass Hoppers to life, said Tong Garden Centre's Marketing Manager, Jo Dales.


"Grass Hoppers indoor play will be abrand new, fun-packed soft play area with lots of exciting and interactive features and means that children can enjoy the Grass Hoppers experience whatever the weather," she added.


Each winner will receive aGrass Hoppers goody bag and a free play pass for themselves, plus a ‘class pass' that gives all of the winner's school class a free play at Grass Hoppers. Bradford Stories will also award the winners with a bundle of books for their classroom. The winners will be announced on 12thJuly.


Bradford Stories is a campaign from the National Literacy Trust and Bradford Council to improve literacy levels in the city by promoting reading, writing, speaking and listening. 


In addition to supporting Bradford Stories with writing and reading related activities, the team at Tong aims to raise £10,000 for Bradford Storiesthroughout 2019. £4,500 has already been raised by a team of cyclists led by Tong's MD, Mark Farnsworth who tackled the Tour de Yorkshire ride earlier this month.


"This is a fantastic competition that really connects with our purpose and gives the children in our selected schools an exciting and engaging opportunity to get creative. We are really looking forward to seeing just how imaginative these young minds have been and reading their creative descriptions for the new characters at Grass Hoppers," said Imran Hafeez, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford.


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.  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," Marketing Manager Jo Dales concludes.


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: Tong team members with Imran from the National Literacy Trust Team Tong with Imran from Bradford Stories

Back Row left to right: Caroline Ellis, Imran Hafeez, Grant Popple

Front Row: Nicia McLean, Kelsey Grace


For more information or to arrange an interview with 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 an independent charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK and giving children and young people from disadvantaged communities the literacy skills to succeed in life. For more information please visit