The Duchess of Cornwall carries out literacy engagements in Swindon

The Duchess of Cornwall today visited Swindon and carried out literacy engagements in her role as Patron of the National Literacy Trust.

At North Swindon Library, The Duchess joined students in a word hunt as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Lost Words poetry competition.

The Duchess congratulated the three winners of the competition and listened as Molly read her first place poem.

Her Royal Highness also took part in a ‘booknic’, where children can enjoy their favourite books with picnic lunches, and cut a cake shaped in a recreation of a woodland scene.

Author and illustrator Steve Antony, who drew the pictures for comic Tim Minchin's book ‘When I Grow Up’, was also at the event.

The artist, who is Patron of Swindon libraries' children's reading services, was tasked with sketching a picture to accompany The Duchess reading ‘Come Into The Woods’, a poem by Alfred Williams.

Steve Antony, who works with Swindon's libraries to encourage children to use them, said: "I cannot even begin to say just how important it is for children to have access to a public library.

"One of the reasons I try to do as much as I can with the libraries is to make children and adults aware what's on offer."

The Royal visit also marked the first anniversary of Swindon's involvement in the National Literacy Trust Hub project.

Launched in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and funded by WH Smith, the initiative provides a range of programmes to equip children and young people in Swindon with the literacy skills they need to succeed.

Next, The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Lyndhurst Centre to meet foster carers and children benefiting from the hub project which ensures every Swindon child taken into care is given book tokens and a notebook.