Singing legend Dolly Parton meets Bradford volunteers

Jan Winter, Dolly Parton and Dale Smith after the singers show at Leeds Arena.

Jan Winter, Dolly Parton and Dale Smith after the singers show at Leeds Arena.

First published in News

COUNTRY legend Dolly Parton took time out of her busy UK tour to meet the volunteers who run the Bradford arm of her literacy charity.

Jan Winter, founder of Canterbury Imagine, and fellow trustee Councillor Dale Smith met the singer after her concert at Leeds Arena, and shortly before she heads to Glastonbury festival to play the main stage.

Dolly set up the Imagination Library to provide free books to children living in deprived areas, and locally this is carried out by Canterbury Imagine, which gives free books to under fives on the Canterbury estate.

The team were invited to the superstar's Leeds gig , and spoke to her afterwards about the scheme's success in the city, which recently expanded to Manningham, with families living around the the Midland Road children’s centre. The group hopes to expand into new areas of Bradford when more funding becomes available.

When parents register their children they get a book for them every month from birth until their fifth birthday.

The scheme was started by the singer in 1996, providing free books to every child in Sevier County, Tennessee, where the star grew up.

sponsor a child’s books, visit or e-mail organiser Jan Winter at

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