Enter our new reading competition

Enter our new reading competition

We have launched a new competition for Essex schoolchildren. We want to hear their ideas for connecting people of different ages through reading. This includes people living with dementia.

The new competition is part of the Essex Year of Reading campaign. This is aimed at addressing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on pupils’ education. It will also help every child, young person and family in Essex discover the joy of reading. It has been created by the Essex Education Task Force.

As well as helping children and young people, reading can benefit people living with dementia. It can help people to re-ignite memories and reduce feelings of loneliness.

Entries might include how schools or early years setting might link in with a local care home, community group or memory café. They could also include connecting people in different ways, such as in-person, through the post or online.

Judges from our dementia team will choose the winning ideas. Each one will each receive up to £50 to enable pupils’ to get their projects off the ground.

Schools or early years settings must submit entries on behalf of their pupils. They must be no more than two sides of A4 paper and could include pictures or a storyboard to show ideas in more detail. Entries must be emailed to dementia.intergen@essex.gov.uk before 5pm on 27 May 2022.

We will inform schools and early years settings if their pupils’ ideas have been selected. All schools and early years setting will receive a certificate for taking part.

Download the free Essex Year of Reading app from the App store or Google Play.

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability: “We are looking for fun ideas to bring different generations together through reading. Children often need someone to listen to them read to help improve their reading skills. We know that loneliness can also affect some older people who may not know how or where to connect with others, particularly those from different generations.

“Connecting younger and older people in this way will be very inspiring and we are hoping it will encourage a lifelong love of reading.”

Essex Year of Reading competition terms and conditions

These standard terms and conditions are subject to any other terms and conditions provided to you or to which you are referred at the time of entering the competition.

  1. This competition is organised by Essex County Council (ECC), County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH.
  2. ECC reserves the right to void, suspend, cancel or amend the competition at any time without prior notice. Any changes will be posted on essex.gov.uk
  3. In the event of any dispute regarding the competition, the final decision of ECC shall be binding and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into. Terms and conditions shall be governed by English law and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  4. This competition is separate to any other Essex Year of Reading competition and people can choose to take part in all, any or none.
  5. By submitting an entry to this competition, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions as set out, and you warrant that you have the legal capacity to enter into and agree to be bound by the same.

Qualifying entrants

  1. Entrants must satisfy the following conditions to enter the competition:
  2. Live, work or learn in Essex or have another legitimate Essex now or at any time in the past.
  3. Submit an idea that is; their own work, not subject to copyright art or infringes copyright.
  4. The entry can be from an individual, pair or group.
  5. Employees of ECC and their families are eligible to enter this competition.
  6. Use of false name or address will result in disqualification.
  7. ECC reserves the right to disqualify any entrant if it has reasonable grounds to believe the entrant has breached any of these terms and conditions.
  8. ECC reserves the right to disqualify an entrant or work if their conduct or submitted entry does not fit with the specified brief.
  9. ECC will not accept competition entries that are automatically generated by computer; completed by third parties in bulk; illegible, altered, reconstructed, forged or tampered with; or incomplete.

Competition entries

  1. Entries can be submitted by schools and early year settings. Please ensure full contact details (name of contributor, age, address, telephone number and email address) are submitted with the entry.
  2. Entries can be submitted by email to dementia.intergen@essex.gov.uk or by post to Essex Year of Reading Dragons Den competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH
  3. Written proposals must be no more than 1-2 A4 pages Entries can be from a school, or an early year setting and can be written by an adult where individuals are unable to write. The entry could also include pictures or a story board to show your ideas, we welcome different ways to be able to show and tell your idea.
  4. Entry to the competition is free, however, all materials for the idea and submission of work must be provided by the entrant(s).
  5. All work must be the original idea of the entrant(s) and not infringe anyone else’s copyright.
  6. The closing date for the competition is Friday 27 May 2022.
  7. Entries received after the closing date are automatically disqualified.
  8. Entries from schools and early year settings will be pre-shortlisted by the school or an early year setting and then submitted. Essex Year of Reading will appoint a judging panel of independent people including a Dementia Team staff member, a Libraries staff member, and an Essex Year of Reading staff member who will decide the shortlist from all entries. A sample of shortlisted entries will be published on the Essex Year of Reading App.
  9. All entries will receive a certificate by post.
  10. Submissions cannot be returned. Some entries will also be displayed on the council and/or library website and social media.
  11. ECC cannot accept responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation, communications line failure, theft, destruction, alteration of, or unauthorised access to entries, quadrants or entries lost or delayed whether or not arising during operation as a result of server functions, virus, bugs or other causes outside its control.
  12. ECC accepts no responsibility for entries not received for whatever reason or for missing contact details submitted with each entry.
  13. By entering this competition, the entrant or the school/early year setting on behalf of an entrant is indicating their agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.


  1. All entries will receive a certificate and a range of ideas will be published on the Essex Year of Reading app.
  2. Ideas will be judged on how well they promote a love of reading across different age groups. This might include establishing links with a local care home or an older person’s day care centre, relevant community group or memory café. Ideas could include in-person, in-post, and virtual ways to connect across communities.
  3. If there are any costs to your idea, please do include costs up to £50, we cannot guarantee to fund all ideas as there is a limited funding pot of Amazon vouchers in place. We will take into consideration different localities, ages, and stages to ensure we can fund as many ideas as possible across different areas, and from early years to further years.
  4. The Amazon vouchers are - non-transferable and no cash alternatives to the prize will be offered.
  5. By entering the competition, the school and/or early year setting agree(s) to take part in publicity e.g. media, social media and featuring on the ECC website: essex.gov.uk.


  1. ECC cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the competition or as a result of accepting any prize. ECC is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any computer on-line systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software failure of any email or entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in the competition.

Data protection and publicity

  1. ECC handles information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation and is the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 (ECC privacy notice). The personal information provided by you when entering into the competition will be used to administer the competition and will not be shared with anyone unless the law allows us to do so. Essex County Council will hold your name, age, email and postal address to announce the winner of the competition.
  2. By providing your name, age, email and postal address to ECC you consent to ECC processing your personal data for the purpose of running this competition and to provide you with information about this competition.
  3. If you would like to see any personal information held on you by us please contact Transparency Team (TT): Essex County Council, PO Box 11, Chelmsford CM1 1LX, 01245 431851, transparencyteam@essex.gov.uk.

How to contact us

  1. You can contact us in relation to the competition by writing to Essex Year of Reading Dragon’s Den competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH, or via email at Dementia.Intergen@essex.gov.uk

Last updated 3 May 2022