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I am absolutely delighted to be taking up the role (and baton!) of Patron of Reading at Leighton Park School in Reading.

Having visited twice before I considered the offer for all of 30 seconds (probably fewer) before saying ‘yes’ to Chris Routh, the school’s wonderful librarian. Leighton Park was founded and is still run along Quaker principles, and the Friends’ spirit pervades the student and staff body. Open, enquiring, and holistically aspirational the values there fit incredibly well with the themes I want to write about in my books.

And more than that my family has a deep link to Quakerism - it was at the Friends Centre Brighton that my mum and dad first met. Dad was co-warden there and spent 1945-55 using the arts and education to help make the better society that everyone longed for after the Second World War. It was at his puppetry group that my parents first crossed paths - I always say I owe my existence to Quakerism and marionettes…

Over the next three years I hope to work deeply with the students, teachers and Chris to further enrich reading and writing at this wonderful school.

© Julian Sedgwick 2019