A local business woman who runs a mobile bookshop has decided to set up a book treasure hunt for children across Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley.

Laura Bardsley, 41, from Accrington, has set up a book treasure hunt hoping to hide hundreds of books in the two areas to help children who might not have access to books during the summer holidays.

Books are hidden around the areas, with a little explanation inside stating the books can be kept, there is a QR code for families to send in pictures with the books when they have found it and a card that states who sponsored the book.

Books that have been hidden include Usborne beginners, Usborne fingerprint activities, Usborne sticker books, educational books, fiction books and more.

Speaking about the reason behind the initiative, Laura said: “This has been the first year that I have done the local book treasure hunt.

“There are people I know who have been doing it for years across the country and I thought it sounded like such a good idea for our area.

“There was a recent government poll and it said one in five children don’t even own a single book and it really upset me, because I love reading and anything to do with books, so I just wanted to see how a treasure hunt would work out in the Hyndburn area.

“We do have some quite deprived areas over here so I just wanted to see if we could get the word out there and the more sponsors we can get, the more books I can get out there.

Lancashire Telegraph: Some of the books hiddenSome of the books hidden (Image: Laura Bardsley)

“I’ve had a couple of sponsors so far and managed to get about 75 books out there, but we are going to try and cover the whole of Hyndburn and some of the Ribble Valley as well so it’s a big place to cover and I am trying to find as many places as I can to hide these books.

“The feedback I have had so far has been great.

“I have been hiding books in sort of very obvious places; places where children are likely to be, and I leave clues on my Facebook and Instagram and I also post on local Facebook groups.

“I do what I can to make it fun for children and their families.

“The more places I can hide books the better.

“The treasure hunts will be throughout the summer holidays so all this summer right through to September and I’m more than likely to be doing it again over the Christmas and Easter holidays as well.

“If it goes really well, I will extend it even further into half terms.

“I think that reading is such an amazing way to escape really, when I was growing up some of my fondest memories were going to the library.

"I think so many children struggle to get away from screentime, and I just think there is something so special about literally holding a book in your hand and it can take you anywhere you want to go.

“And with the circumstances that we are all in at the moment financially, it can be quite difficult, so if there is a way to give back then that is something I’m really passionate about.

“So many children don’t have access to activities due to the financial situation we’re all in. So, this is something free and fun.”

Laura is also hoping to create book packs for children who are fleeing with parents from domestic abuse households.

Lancashire Telegraph: Laura BardsleyLaura Bardsley (Image: Laura Bardsley)

She said: “I am also in talks at the moment with the Women’s Charity on Warner Street about doing something similar to put packs together for the children of families who are escaping domestic abuse, because when you have to flee something like that, kids have to leave their toys and books and everything.

“I would ask local businesses to sponsor a pack which would include books and stickers but at the moment I am just in talks regarding this idea.”

Laura’s son, Isaac, is also taking part in a reading challenge this summer.

She said: “My little one Isaac is doing a sponsored read which anyone can contribute to.

“He has pledged to read 50 books in 15 days (started last Monday) and is doing so well.

“All the money raised will be going towards the look for a book hunt."

The books which have been hidden range from ages zero to 18, so there are books across the two areas that cater for all from babies to young adults.

If you would like to take part in the book treasure hunt with your children, clues are put on Lauras Imagination Station Facebook or if you would like to sponsor so more books can be put into the hands of children, contact laurasimaginationstation@gmail.com.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @chloewjourno.