Melissa Cooke in conversation with Lynne Skeith, Repton Litfest Volunteer

Updated: May 28, 2020

Lynne is an RLF volunteer and a very active volunteer committee member of the Maple Tree - Repton’s Community Cafe that opened in November last year. She was also the brains & organisation behind the Community Cookbook which contains well-loved recipes from Community Cafe volunteers and even a contribution from Celebrity Chef, Tom Kerridge!

All profits are being donated to the local Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity

M: How was your experience of Repton Literary Festival?

L: Great. Even better than the previous year. My focus is the children and children’s activities and we had a lovely children’s author. A.F. Harrold who writes stories about a particular character, Fizzlebert Stump in different situations.

M: Why did you volunteer?

L: I’ve been a teacher and I know just how important it is for children to have a love of books and stories.

M: What do you like about reading/books/art/dialogue?

L: I love bringing books to life. Lifting the story from the page and making it real. Some children (and adults) can lose themselves in a book but for others, it’s more challenging. It’s rewarding to help bring it to them.

M: What are you reading now?

L: I picked up Rosella Postorino’s The Women at Hitler’s Table and am reading that now. These women risked their lives to survive. It’s a totally different perspective on the war than in any novel I’ve read before.

M: What would you like for this year’s festival?

L: We are often sharing the wonder of books with those who are already converted. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I’d like to extend our reach to people, particularly children, who don’t have books readily at hand or as a way of life and are missing this opportunity. Let’s get the word out to schools, local children’s charities & organisations, grandparents and parents and encourage others to come.

M: What are your lasting impressions of RLF

L: The children’s activities were in the drama studio – a fabulous open space but the walls, ceiling etc are all black. We decorated the room with coloured umbrellas and the children’s faces lit up as they entered the room and saw these. It was joyful. Just how the exploring of literature and art should be.

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