More than 70 families in Sighthill this morning received books and education packs thanks to The Royal Bank of Scotland and the Scottish Book Trust.

Sighthill Primary School teachers Laura Paterson and Marie Dunn took delivery of the “Bookbug Bags” at the Calders Community Flat in Sighthill and then dropped them off to families with nursery and primary pupils living in the estate.

The packs have been developed to help keep children reading. It’s also hoped that reading will help with learning while schools and libraries are closed during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Royal Bank of Scotland has created a distribution centre for the Bookbug Bags at its base in Gogarburn, with The Scottish Book Trust making an appeal to the public for donations to support the programme.

Launched on Monday, pupils at Broomhouse Primary have already received donations, with more school pupils across Scotland expected to receive packages over the next few weeks.

Sighthill Primary teacher Laura Paterson said: “During this time when schools, libraries and other activity groups are closed, the Bookbug Bags are a fantastic resource that our families can use with their children to share stories and activities.  The children were so excited to receive their own pack and it was lovely to be able to provide them with these.”

Volunteers from The Calders Residents Association helped the teachers to distribute the books. The CRA volunteers are also preparing and distributing packed lunches to the most vulnerable members of their community. 

Royal Bank of Scotland’s Scotland Board chair, Malcolm Buchanan, said: “Directly or indirectly, everyone is affected by the current situation but during these difficult times we are seeing some of the best examples of people caring for one another.

“The Scottish Book Trust’s appeal will help children everywhere and it is great to see local communities get behind it and do what they can to make a positive difference.”

As well as a space and a partnership with the Scottish Book Trust, Royal Bank of Scotland has turned its Gogarburn Conference Centre into a temporary distribution unit and foodbank centre. 

Organisations including The Trussell Trust, FareShare and Social Bite are using the space and working with Royal Bank volunteers to help support and provide meals and toiletries for vulnerable families and individuals during lockdown. 

Created just seven weeks ago, the unit has allowed Social Bite alone to produce and deliver 150,000 meals to families across Scotland.

Others helping with the drive include Baxter Storey and Edinburgh Private Hire.

To donate to The Scottish Book Trust’s Children’s Book Appeal Click here