FREE children’s books are being hidden around a village by elderly care home residents who want to inspire them with a love of reading.

Treasury of Wishes, Roberto, Worried Arthur and Dumbo are just some of the titles left around Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, for lucky local youngsters to find.

Residents from Pelton Grange Care Home have been placing the books outside shops and in bus shelters, among other places, to encourage children to read more.

They also created greetings cards to go with the books that read: “Well done. You’ve found our book. You can read it, keep it or re-hide it for someone else to enjoy.

“Please have an adult take a picture and post it to the Facebook page Culture for Kids.

“This book was hidden by the residents of Pelton Grange Care Home, Hill Care.”

The scheme has been organised in conjunction between Culture for Kids and the Hawthorne Project– a Durham County Council funded initiative that aims to tackle social isolation and improve the wellbeing of elderly residents.

Ann Capon, a resident from Pelton Grange Care Home, is one of those who attended a recent meeting and took part in an arts and crafts session to create the greetings cards that accompany the children’s books.

She said: “I get great pleasure out of knowing this encourages children to read as it’s all technology these days.

"There’s nothing like a good old book in your hand.”

One book, Treasury of Wishes, has already been found and posted to Facebook with a message that read: “We found this outside our workplace with a lovely message.

"It’s time for someone else to have the pleasure.”

Christopher Hogan-Hind, home manager at Pelton Grange Care Home, on Front Street, said: “It’s lovely to see our residents being involved in this project.

“Reading is so important for kids and really worthwhile thing to do.

"Going out into the village doing something that makes a difference to the community.”