Last weekend, Worcester’s MP attended The Hive’s annual Summer Reading Challenge launch and encouraged children to join in with space-themed activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

As a keen reader, Robin enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with children and potentially ignite a lifelong passion for literature. The Hive’s launch party encouraged children aged 4 – 11 to sign-up to the ‘Space Chase’ challenge with a mission to read six books over the summer holidays.

As schools across the City are preparing to close for the summer holidays, The Hive’s Summer Reading Challenge aims to promote reading for leisure outside of term time to maintain the confidence and skills acquired in the classroom.

The Hive is one of the finest public Libraries not just in the country but in Europe. It provides fantastic facilities to the people of Worcester freely and it combines the benefit of a top of the range University Library with those of a public facility.

Robin has been a long-standing supporter of The Hive, the plans for which were years in the making, and campaigned hard to secure a VAT refund for the building in 2016.

Speaking about the event, Robin said:

“I am grateful to have such wonderful and active public libraries in the City like The Hive, and last Saturday was a fantastic display of all the important work undertaken by community hubs in Worcester. I was pleased to see an excellent turn out across all age ranges and enjoyed having the chance to read with some of the children.”

“I have always loved reading, and I think it is a very powerful tool to pass onto the next generation as reading has the ability to encourage critical thought, eloquent expression and creativity. In the technological age, I believe it is more important than ever for people to take the time to sit down with a book and unplug.”

The Hive manager, Janine Downes, said:

“Reading habits are known to slide during the summer, and this fantastic challenge is a fun way of getting children to try new books, explore new authors, and pick up rewards along the way. They can read anything from comics, joke books, non-fiction or novels! The important thing is that children learn to enjoy reading.

“We have some great tips on our Facebook page for parents who would like to know how to encourage their children to read. We also have some brilliant events during the summer holidays to give children an extra reason to return to The Hive.”


Notes to editors

For more information on the VAT refund, please see:

For more information on what’s going on at The Hive from the 22nd of July onwards, please see below:

  • Every day activities will take place between 10am and 3pm, including a daily story time at 11am and 2.45pm as well as a space chase treasure hunt. 
  • On Monday 22 and Thursday 25 July, children will be sent on a Space Minecraft Mission and set the task of building a spaceship. Sessions are at 10:45am, 11:45am, 12:45pm and 1:45pm.
  • Keen coders can embark on creating their own space themed coded story on Monday 29 July and Thursday 1 August at 10:30am, 11:45am and 1pm.
  • Returning to The Hive on Friday 2 August is the high energy, space-loving poet James Carter who will perform his rhymes and riddles to music in three workshops for children aged 0 to 4, 5 to 7 and 8 to 11.
  • Children aged 6 – 12 with a love of art can take part in a drawing workshop with local designers WeAreBeard on Monday 5 August and Thursday 8 August at 10:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm.
  • Those with an artistic touch can make their own light-up constellation with stars in a jar on Monday 12 and Thursday 15 August, or create their very own Martian Mask on Monday 19 and Thursday 22 August.
  • The final summer session is Space coding when children can code their way to the – moon on Thursday 29 August.
  • These sessions cost £2.50 and booking is advisable from The Hive website. 
  • Roald Dahl Day celebrations at The Hive on Saturday 14 September give children a final chance to complete the reading challenge and join in some gloriumptious activities.

For full details of courses and events, as well as activities for adults, visit the website: