Hoodwinked Whitemoor-school-bench

Trailblazing BookBenches from Nottingham schools

Up to 19,500 primary school children have been involved in creating more than 50 beautiful BookBenches for Nottingham’s Hoodwinked trail this summer.

The unique BookBenches have been designed and painted by children at 52 primary schools across Nottingham as part of the Hoodwinked education and learning programme, Robin’s Tales, which is supported by Boots UK, Education Partner of the Hoodwinked programme.

They will be on display at neighbourhood libraries and leisure centres as well as at Central Library, intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh shopping centres from 7 July to 30 September. They’ll form part of the Hoodwinked sculpture trail, which is a free event for Nottingham to enjoy this summer.

Robin’s Tales education pack

Hoodwinked is the latest exciting chapter in the story of Boots’ literary heritage in the city. The company has been at the heart of Nottingham’s community for almost 170 years. This year its support as Education Partner for Hoodwinked has brought the Robin Hood legend to life in the city’s primary schools, offering thousands of children novel literacy and art activities around the legendary stories.

Each school has been provided with an education pack filled with creative ideas and rich learning resources aligned to both the National Curriculum and Arts Award, and including heritage material from the Boots archive. Many of the BookBenches created as part of the programme have been inspired by children’s love of reading, favourite books, characters and illustrations. Some designs have been chosen through school competitions, and other schools have combined ideas from a number of pupils.

Elizabeth Fagan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots, said:

“To read and learn is one of life’s great pleasures, and it’s something that we believe that every person should have the opportunity to enjoy. Boots has a long standing commitment to improving literacy and access to reading for all. In the 1890s, Florence Boot created the Book Lovers’ Libraries in Boots stores before public libraries were common, so partnering Robin’s Tales is a fitting way of continuing and honouring her legacy. We’re hope that the BookBenches will be a lasting place for children to enjoy and discover stories and new literary heroes for many years to come.”

Lasting legacy

The BookBenches will be returned to schools in the autumn term as a lasting reminder of their involvement in Hoodwinked.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Localities, said:

“Children in primary schools right across the city can be very proud of the part they are playing in creating a brilliant art trail for Nottingham this summer. People following the trail will see the unique BookBenches in the city centre and will also have the opportunity to find more in libraries and leisure centres they might not have visited before. I’m looking forward to seeing all the great artwork on display citywide.”

Hoodwinked is led by Nottingham City Council in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular free public art events through the creation of uniquely-painted sculptures.

The BookBenches will complement the trail of 33 decorated Robin sculptures that will be on display in the city, each one sponsored by a business. The sculptures are all based on an identical mould but each is unique, designed and painted by an artist.

Money will be raised for the Hoodwinked charity partner, Nottinghamshire Hospice, with fundraising activities throughout the trail and an auction of the sculptures on 18 October 2018.

Pictured: Children from Whitemoor Academy with the Sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Catharine Arnold, and artist Mrs Maker.