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Announcing the winner: Bookbug Hero Award 2024

We are delighted to announce that the recipient of the 2024 Bookbug Hero Award is Jane Putsey, Home-Start volunteer, Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute.


Jane is a prominent and important member of the community on the Ross of Mull and Iona. As a Home-Start volunteer, Jane has provided crucial one-to-one support for families in the home when they have needed it the most. Jane has become a lifeline for families living in rural locations to connect with each other through her delivery of Bookbug Sessions on Mull and Iona. 

Jane develops wonderful relationships with each child who attends her sessions and makes everyone feel welcome and valued. The stories and songs she teaches help the children to love music from an early age as well as to help with their language development and listening and social skills. Jane has enriched the lives of many families on the island not just through Bookbug but with her generous volunteering.

She supported a grandfather who received 48 hours' notice of becoming a kinship carer of his two-year-old granddaughter for over two years, and she supported an isolated new Mum who said Jane ‘helped her to breathe again’. She has been praised for forging relationships with every child who attends her sessions and making everyone feel welcome and valued.

‘Living in such a remote part of the island, Jane’s sessions are vital for me and my children.’ – Amy Simpson, parent

‘The joy that Jane brings to our lives through Bookbug cannot be underestimated.’ – Parent

On winning the award, Jane said:

‘Wow, I feel really humbled to be given the Bookbug Hero Award. Bookbug sessions are so much more than one person and I am just one part of it. I really appreciate the support I get to help me be a Bookbug Leader. It’s a lovely thing to receive the Award and I am really chuffed.’

Highly commended

Lynsey Reid, Lead Nursery Nurse, West of Scotland Mother and Baby Unit

Lynsey and her team work with mothers who are struggling with their mental health and require inpatient care in the Mother and Baby Unit. Lynsey uses Bookbug activities to show how simple songs and rhymes can connect families and bring joy to babies and families. 

Laura Atkinson, Library and Information Assistant, Elgin Library, Moray

Laura delivers Makaton Bookbug Sessions for Down's syndrome children and supports a local charity, Step by Step, who support isolated and vulnerable families. Laura provides mentoring support for colleagues who are lacking confidence to deliver their Bookbug Sessions and shares her knowledge of Makaton with them. 

Claire Baillie, Community Librarian Co-ordinator, Alexandria and Balloch Libraries, West Dunbartonshire 

Claire has made a huge impact on families through her Bookbug Sessions and focusses on families' individual needs. The libraries attendance figures and book borrowing has increased since Claire started delivering her Bookbug Sessions, with families spending time together after the sessions have finished. 

Helen Tait, Library Manager, Ardnamurchan, Highland

Helen has worked tirelessly to ensure families in the Ardnamurchan peninsula are able to access Bookbug by driving for miles to remote communities to deliver gift bags and Bookbug Sessions. Some of the children’s first words have been ‘Bookbug’ as a result of Helen’s devoted work. This also includes her support of the local mental health charity, Ewen's Room.

About Walker Books

Scottish Book Trust would like to thank Walker Books(this link will open in a new window) who kindly sponsor the Bookbug Hero Award.

Home to books for all ages, Walker Books publishes many award-winning authors, illustrators, and literary franchises including Anthony Horowitz, Angie Thomas, Cassandra Clare, Lucy Cousins, Anthony Browne, Patrick Ness, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, and Where's Wally? by Martin Handford. Walker Books is part of the vibrant international Walker Books Group that includes Walker Books Australia; Candlewick Press in America and its new division, Walker Books US; and Walker Productions.