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Global publisher makes significant book donation to Newcastle-based learning centre

15th February 2023

The world’s second-largest publisher has donated more than 160 books to a local learning centre in the East End of Newcastle.

Hachette has gifted more than £2,000 worth of brand-new books to the IntoUniversity centre in Newcastle – a centre that supports young people facing disadvantage to achieve a place at university.

The centre is a partnership between Northumbria and Newcastle Universities and IntoUniversity - the UK’s largest university-access charity – and is based at Monkchester Community Centre.

The books have been donated in memory of the Centre’s first manager, Laura Duncalfe, who tragically died in a cycling accident in January 2022. The sizeable book donation is a fitting tribute to Laura, who was known for her love of reading.

Liam Raine, Newcastle’s IntoUniversity Centre Leader, said, “We’re delighted with the wonderful donation from Hachette. When our young people returned for their first sessions after the closure period, you could see all our voracious readers chomping at the bit to get started with them. If Laura loved anything, it was reading. I know she would be happy to see a new generation of readers here in Newcastle East.”

Northumbria University’s Higher Education Without Barriers initiative supports the IntoUniversity centre, which helps to ensure that everyone with the potential to go to university, should have the opportunity to achieve their goal.

The University is providing a range of financial initiatives, mental health and wellbeing services and community-based projects to make participation and progression in higher education more achievable for academically talented students regardless of their social or economic circumstances. 

Dan Monnery, Chief Strategy Officer at Northumbria University, said: "Many young people from the city will reap the benefits from this generous donation to the library established in Laura's memory.

IntoUniversity demonstrates our commitment to enabling young people to engage with higher education. It opens doors to underrepresented groups and helps deliver life-changing outcomes. It is an incredible example of the joint civic contribution of the two universities in Newcastle”

Northumbria University already has an established partnership with Hachette, with the two organisations collaborating on an innovative and unique one-year Master of Arts (MA) Publishing degree with reading and writing development organisation New Writing North. The course is designed to address skills gaps within the publishing industry and is the first in the UK to offer students a guaranteed placement with a global publisher and the opportunity to work with New Writing North on live writing development projects.

The global publisher donated a variety of hardback titles including, Which Way to Anywhere by Cressida Cowell, The Ickabog by J. K. Rowling, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Swarm Rising by Tim Peake to take pride of place in the Centre’s library.

Richard Kitson, CEO at Hachette said: “Our mission at Hachette UK is to make it easy for everyone to discover new worlds of ideas, learning, entertainment and opportunity and we are delighted that this donation to the IntoUniversity centre will help support and develop young readers from disadvantaged backgrounds further their chances of higher education as well as honour the memory of Laura Duncalfe”.

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