The London Masons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation has donated £5,000 to support South West London based Bag Books, the only charity in the world to produce multi sensory books for people with learning disabilities. Founded in 1993, their multi sensory books are aimed at those who cannot benefit from mainstream books. They can be enjoyed without being understood as they are told interactively through voice and emotion rather than words and pictures. They are designed for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities or those with severe autistic spectrum disorder. Bag Books reaches over 25,000 children and adults with learning disabilities each year.
Dean Casswell, Chief Executive of Bag Books tells us that “Bag Books is a national charity providing multi-sensory books and storytelling for people with profound learning disabilities. The generous funding from London Masons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation will enable us to bring the joy of storytelling to many more people whose disabilities mean they cannot benefit from mainstream books.”
Bag Books are very different to conventional books. Each story contains a number of un-bound ‘pages’ – A3 boards – each comprising a different multi-sensory experience. These pages are bought together by a simple but captivating storyline of just a few short sentences. Listeners are encouraged to explore the different sensory experiences, often hand over hand with the storyteller.
Not only do Bag Books publish these amazing books, they provide story telling sessions and training to other carers and support workers around the country so the benefit of these books can be shared as far as is possible.
Tony Shields, Metropolitan Grand Lodge Charity Steward commented “Our Members are delighted to support this very worthwhile charity as these multi-sensory books encourage the listener to become involved in the story. They take the listener on a journey to explore a range of sensory experiences all designed to engage the key senses of sight, sound, touch, smell and motion.. This is another example of Freemasons supporting the London community. This donation follows on from a £1,250,000 donation, of a £2.5 million funding pledge from London Freemasons to London Fire Brigade. The funding will provide London Fire Brigade with two extended height aerial vehicles.”