Jolly Back supports Cllr David Mellen with his 2018 Challenge to give children the gift of reading

I often learn and am inspired by people’s Tweets but this January, was bowled over by Nottingham Councillor, David Mellen’s New Year Challenge. And after seeing pictures of him looking uncomfortable reading to children I had to get in touch to offer some Jolly Back support..

David’s Challenge was to raise funds for the Imagination Library (an amazing scheme which delivers a free book, every month, to children between the ages of 0 and 5 years old helps parents and children to enjoy exploring books together) by reading a storybook to at least 2018 children – all in the month of January! He planned to visit each of the 20 neighbourhoods across Nottingham through schools, nurseries, libraries, children centres and hospitals.

I met up with David mid challenge and asked him some quick-fire questions:

What are you enjoying about the challenge?

I worked in primary education for 20years, so I’m really enjoying spending the time with children, especially reading stories as it’s such a great thing to do. I’ve been overwhelmed by people’s support and generosity too. We’ve already nearly reached our fundraising target.

What are you hoping to achieve?

To raise the profile of the Imagination Library and for the 21k children aged 0-5 in the City to receive a book every month until they are 5 years old. We currently have just over 4000 children registered on the scheme across 7 Nottingham City neighbourhoods, but we want to do more.

The scheme which is very efficient as Health Visitors register children (they see 98-99% of babies born at home). Becau se Imagination Library is globally successful scheme via Dolly Parton, publishers fight to get their books on the list as it helps their profile too, so there’s always a plentiful supply of fantastic books. Just £2 can pay for a child to get a new book, £25 can pay for a child to get a new book each month for a year and £125 pays for a child to get a new book every month from birth until their 5th birthday.

The Imagination Library is proven to work, the children getting these books each month are 28% more likely to start school ready to learn and go on to fulfil their true potential. We’re looking towards making it an “opt out” scheme in future. Together we can ensure every child has this chance for success!

How did Imagination Library start in Nottingham?

5 years ago, the Dolly scheme started in Wollaton with the City Council’s involvement, commencing with 100 babies in Bilborough. They’re reaching the end of their scheme so we’re hosting a celebratory “graduation”.

What do you think to the Jolly Back chair?

It’s very clever as it lets you sit upright but still low down with children. It’s a great support and I can see very useful when working with children. An inspiring story too from physio to inventor and it’s pleasing to hear about the business support you’ve received in Nottingham. Thank you.

We plan to arrange an auction or event for our donations after the challenge to help with further fundraising.

I look forward to hearing how David’s challenge goes. Here’s his link to support him too:

Jolly Back’s purpose and passion is to improve the working life and comfort of those who teach and care for children and which has proven positive impacts on children’s learning.

Preventative care through using better seating methods helps reduce absenteeism, maximises quality of teaching and therefore results, whilst also protecting staff, boosting employee engagement and productivity.

Jolly Back Chair and cushions were created after working with and within schools and soon realising there was a need to provide a specific seating solution for teachers working in low-height children’s environments. Jolly Back now provides a range of products and expert advice and proudly supports hundreds of schools and nurseries across the UK and further afield. Please see or contact to discuss the most effective collaboration to suit your organisation’s needs. We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you, David, great to meet and support you