Five years of reading at DMU

The Six Book Challenge was an initiative that included any member of staff as long as they read 6 books in 5 months – it didn’t matter what book they read ‘War & Peace’ or one the wonderful Quick Read books by a leading Author.
With the help of Unison and HR Training & Development we have provided many of the staff with materials especially books to assist with reading.

Why has Unison supported the Six Book Challenge?

The Six Book Challenge promotes the joy of reading.  As the Reading Agency says “Reading can help take you out of unemployment, into education, connect you to your community, raise your spirits and fire your imagination.

Reading is a necessity in our society, it is something we must do to function, and it develops the mind and again imagination.

One in six adults struggles to read.
The Six Book Challenge improved the chances in life for people who found reading difficult by building their reading confidence and motivation.

Because everything changes when we read”.

For Unison & DMU, the 6 Book Challenge was

  • A great opportunity for Unison and POD to work together on a shared interest in developing people.
  • Positive action to support our strategy on staff “Well Being”.
  • A great way of creating links between colleagues across the University and breaking down those “silos”!
  • A chance to reinforce our belief in the “University as a public good”.
  • A great recruitment tool

With SBC everyone was a winner! It is a wonderful sight to see staff that were new to reading taking every opportunity to get their head in a book. Learning to improve reading and writing has definitely changed the lives of some of our colleagues – not only at work but at home as well – This we are immensely proud of.

So what have we done over the last 5 years?

The DMU Six Book Challenge has been a huge success and grown from 72 completers in 2011 to 188 completers in 2015. We have won a Gold Award from the Reading Agency for the last three years and we are the No1 workplace in the UK for participating in the Six Book Challenge again for the 3rd year running.  Unison at national level has recognised what we have achieved at DMU and Unison East Midlands have 24 branches now participating in the Six Book Challenge using DMU as a role model.
This year we have encouraged staff to read with their children/grandchildren and this too has been an overwhelming success.  45 children completing the challenge,
We are particularly pleased that 20% of this year’s completers came from the Estates Directorate, with the majority of those coming from the Campus Services team.
A special vote of thanks should go to the morning cleaning supervisors who have provided fantastic encouragement and support to their staff so early in the morning.
The Reading Agency has now dropped the Six Book Challenge and is now promoting a new initiative called ‘Reading Ahead’.
Unfortunately Reading Ahead does not fit in with our future programme of reading at DMU, but don’t dismay, we hope to have some exciting news soon regarding  a new reading initiative for 2016!

The Lifelong Learning team hope we have helped people get into the habit of reading, and hopefully we have cultivated a passion here at DMU for picking up and enjoying a book.

Andrew Jennison & Carol Keddie

If you would like to help in anyway in the future with our new reading initiative, please feel free to contact us.

Book ShelvesNeed something to read?
We have a selection of novels, classics, children’s books and Quick Reads located at our Book Swap library outside the Unison Office, Gateway House 1.5C
Just take one, read it and bring it back! And most of all – enjoy!

Leave a Reply