Globally Renowned Author Andy McNab at Wirral Unison Launch of Reading Ahead

On November 11th at Birkenhead Library, our Wirral Local Government branch launched literacy initiative Reading Ahead in style with a visit from author Andy McNab.

Andy talked about his experiences as a youngster in Borstal and how he received his education in the Armed Forces alongside many other young recruits:

'I was 16 years of age with the reading age of a 5 year old. The education officer, the teacher, explained to us that we weren't thick, we were just uneducated. This was the first time anybody had said this to us and the impact was huge'. Andy explained how he went on to develop a lifelong commitment to learning through reading and writing, and how reading leads to knowledge which in turn leads to power, the power to transform your life for the better.

Andy launched his new book 'Detonator' and a new 'Quick Read' - short books designed to encourage more reading. Andy also spoke of his charity mission across the north pole starting soon.

Over 50 people attended, with many signing up to the Reading Ahead Challenge - to read 6 books, newspapers or articles within a 6 month period. A celebration event is planned for next year.

UNISON recruited 3 new Union Learning Reps, Carol, Amanda and Diane who are keen to support their colleagues with opportunities to learn through the union.


Attendees listen to introductions from librarian Diane Moore.



Tom Jenkins (Regional Learning Organiser), Tony Norbury (Labour Councillor), Gill Whitfield (Librarian and ULR), Dave Hardcastle (Lifelong Learning Tutor and ULR), Martin Russo (National Learning Organiser)



Regional Learning Organiser Tom Jenkins explains the importance of UNISON's learning agenda and how ULRs can help shape the lives of their colleagues



'We Will Remember Them'



Andy captivating the audience



Councillor Tony Norbury reminded us of the horrors of war both in the past and across the globe today



Andy with librarian Diane Moore. Andy still has to conceal his face for photos due to his days as an S.A.S serviceman

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