Maidenhead's Big Read announces Dame Katherine Grainger as festival's patron

Dame Katherine Grainger has been announced as patron for Maidenhead’s Big Read festival, which is set to begin next month.

Organised by Maidenhead Community Book Festival, the inaugural Big Read took place last year in a bid to

encourage a love of reading in the town.

As part of last year’s festival Katherine, Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, was ‘in conversation’ with Advertiser editor James Preston about her life challenges and achievements.

As an author herself, and someone who ‘can’t imagine life without the joy of reading’, Katherine said she was ‘delighted’ when approached to be patron of Maidenhead’s Big Read.

She said: “The Big Read is an exciting venture and its variety of events offers something of interest and enjoyment to everyone in our community.

“It deserves to be well supported and I’m absolutely sure it will be.”

Stephan Stephan, chairman of Maidenhead’s Big Read said: “We cannot thank Dame Katherine Grainger enough for becoming our patron.

“Her passion for everything she does, her drive and determination is infectious and as an accomplished author who is passionate about reading, Dame Grainger was the obvious choice to become our Patron.”

This year Maidenhead’s Big Read will run from Saturday, February 29 to Sunday, March 8.

Events will include story telling, interactive author and illustrator sessions, talks, volunteer and drop-in book reading groups, pop-up book shops and book exchanges.

Stephan said: “We want

to get everyone in Maidenhead excited about literature, literacy and creativity whilst giving them the tools to create their futures because we believe that everyone can live their dreams through the power of reading and that the future is theirs to write.”

For more information email or visit the website to book sessions at

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