As Patron of the National Literacy Trust, I am delighted to support this imaginative and timely campaign to find the country's Literacy Heroes.
I firmly believe in the importance of igniting a passion for reading in the next generation. I was lucky enough to have a father who was a fervent bibliophile and a brilliant storyteller too. He read to us each night and transported us into different worlds from the irresistible lure of Mr McGregor's garden to battles for Toad Hall or close encounters with the dreaded Captain Hook. Every book was a promise of something new and exciting.
In a world where the written word competes with so many other calls on our attention, we need more Literacy Heroes to keep inspiring young people to find the pleasure and power of reading for themselves. I look forward to hearing about your heroes who, like my father, have had such an impact on the opportunities, aspirations and happiness of others through the vital skill of literacy.