The Book of St Helens is a unique guide book created by 146 school children from Ashurst, Broad Oak Community and Rainford C. E Primary Schools in St Helens with artists Andy Field and Beckie Darlington. Two hundred copies of The Book of St Helens were printed by MARC the Printers, Salford and shared with the pupils and people living and working locally, while a free digital edition is available to download via the project page here.
The Book of St Helens has been shared widely by local organisations and media
An advert for The Book of St Helens was included in St Helens Star, which was distributed to around 75,000 local homes.
Andy and Scarlett, one of the children who created the book, chatted about their experience working together Heart of Glass Podcast Conversations Over a Brew
Listen to Andy and Scarlett in conversation here.
On Wednesday 6th October Andy Field talked to Helen Jones at BBC Radio Merseyside about the project and the children's amazing work.
Listen to Andy discuss the project with Helen from 30:30 minutes here (available until 5th November 2021). This interview was played as part of BBC Radio Merseyside's drive time show with Helen Jones.
Finally, two physical copies of The Book of St Helens have been included in CulturEd (St Helens Cultural Education Partnership)'s exhibition, Here.
Here takes place between 23rd October and 6th November at CulturEd Pop-up Community Gallery St. Mary’s Shopping Centre, 11am - 4pm each day (closed Monday 1st November)
Readers have responded with their reactions to the surprising details shared by the children
The Mayor of St Helens, Councillor Sue Murphy, sent a video to share with the children with her reaction.
Text responses were shared by Councillors, St Helens Council representatives and professionals working in St Helens.
Councillor John Case, Councillor for Rainford:
"I have just read the book, written by the children of St Helens and I recommend that all adults of St Helens read it to see if they recognise our town through the eyes of these children. It is a fascinating read and actually very perceptive. It was good to read that the children liked the town that they are growing up in and have a sense of pride in their town. Also several very important political and social issues were of concern to them , including crime, gangs, litter, pollution and house building on parks. I thought that it was a wonderful read and by far the best thing I’ve read all week. I will pass it to my 2 councillor colleagues and then donate it to Rainford Community Library. Well done Children"
Kathryn Boothroyd, St Helens Library Services Manager
"When I read The Book of St Helens, I knew we had to make it widely available. What better way to do that than through the Borrowbox digital Library Service. Now anyone can access the book freely and easily by downloading it onto their device using their library card. St Helens Library Service is proud to support the children in their writing efforts."
The Book of St Helens continues to be shared digitally and physically with St Helens locals and potential future visitors.
Are you feeling inspired? Discovered something new after reading The Book Of St Helens? Why not record your own response to the guidebook and post it social media using #TheBookOfStHelens. We'd love to know what you found!