Skip to main content

Canterbury Imagine

1872. Jan Winter

Jan Winter, from Bradford, is a former journalist and lecturer who created literacy charity ‘Canterbury Imagine’ to provide children living in the Canterbury and Midland Road areas of Bradford with a free book every month from birth until their fifth birthday.

Jan Winter

Jan set up the charity in 2012 with the aim of improving literacy, emotional development, educational attainment and life chances for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, with many children in Bradford living in areas of high deprivation. Jan also realised that owning a book is key for building a passion for reading among children, and that opportunities for reading with parents can greatly enhance bonding and early years development. ‘Canterbury Imagine’ has now gifted over 76,000 books since it was established, ensuring hundreds of children have been able to set up their own library of quality books at home. The charity is also affiliated with the ‘Dolly Parton Imagination Library’, the book-gifting scheme set up by the country singer.

The award for Jan coincides with World Book Day, the annual celebration of reading.

In a personal letter to Jan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Every day I write to someone in our country to thank them for their service to others. Today, on World Book Day, I would like to thank you for your generosity in gifting books to children across Bradford every month from birth to their fifth birthday.

“The 76,000 books you have donated are bringing the magic of stories to so many children and helping them to bond with parents through a shared love of reading.”

Jan said:

“Sharing books with babies and young children has so many benefits. ‘Canterbury Imagine’ aims to help early literacy and life chances in Bradford by providing a free book every month to under-5s in two areas of the city. The power of volunteering is shown in our figures – we have funded more than 76,000 books since starting in 2012 and believe literacy is a way out of poverty. Encouraging children’s love of books and reading in their earliest years will pay dividends for their future education, employment and life skills. I am bowled over to be nominated for the Points of Light scheme on World Book Day.”

See more about ‘Canterbury Imagine’

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

Volunteer now

Search winners