Read up on estate’s new charity appeal

(left to right): Angela Robinson, Barnardo's media manager, centre Emily Cookson, owner of Meldon Park Kitchen Garden Cafe, and Morpeth author Janet MacLeod Trotter.

(left to right): Angela Robinson, Barnardo's media manager, centre Emily Cookson, owner of Meldon Park Kitchen Garden Cafe, and Morpeth author Janet MacLeod Trotter.

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A NORTHUMBERLAND estate is in the good books of a regional children’s charity thanks to its new appeal.

Emily and James Cookson, who own Meldon Park near Morpeth, are organising a collection of hundreds of books in aid of Barnardo’s North East.

The books will be collected throughout the summer at the estate’s Kitchen Garden Cafe and will be distributed to children who are in foster care or are young carers. They will also be given to Barnardo’s family centres, nurseries and special units.

Mrs Cookson said: “Our customers love to come to the Kitchen Garden Cafe or to the gardens and enjoy the peace and tranquillity and sit and read a book or their newspaper so we thought a book appeal would be a popular idea.

“As a mother myself, I know how much pleasure books give children and every child deserves to have books to lose themselves in the world of fantasy. We hope this will encourage and develop reading skills, but the books will also be a lovely treat for children over the summer.

“We would like customers and people visiting the garden to bring along either brand new books or books that have been unwanted gifts and are in pristine condition.”

The appeal is backed by Morpeth author Janet MacLeod Trotter, who has published 16 books.

She said: “This is a wonderful appeal by Meldon Park on behalf of Barnardo’s, a charity that provides a great safety net for vulnerable children. What better gift can we give to the young of our region than books to ignite a love of reading that will last them a lifetime?”

Anyone wishing to donate to the appeal can leave books at the Kitchen Garden Cafe.