About Us

About Us Cy

 In 1999 a small group of church volunteers started going into primary school assemblies in Bedford to read and act out stories using The Lion Storyteller Bible. The Open the Book project was taken to Gloucestershire in 2001 and spread out to other counties from there. Later, in 2007, it was formed into a national charity. With increasing growth of volunteer numbers into the thousands, OtB joined Bible Society in 2013. In 2019, we celebrated 20 years of Open the Book and a growth of over 1000 storytellers throughout the year!

 

Meet the team

Alison Clark, Head of Open the Book

Email: alisonclark@openthebook.net

Alison started a Storyteller team in 2015 and joined the OtB staff team in 2018. She has been managing six Regional Training and Development Officers, our band of volunteer trainers in England and Wales and developing training and network hubs in new areas. As Head of Open the Book from 2020, Alison has also taken on the budgets, strategy and vision-casting for the whole team of ten staff. Being based in the North East of England, Alison will continue to travel distances to inspire and put her skills to good use up and down the country.

Julie Jefferies, Open the Book Partnership Ambassador

Email: training@openthebook.net

Julie first became involved in OtB as a Storyteller, then as a volunteer Trainer from 2008 before joining Bible Society as the Training and Development Manager in 2013.  She was Head of Open the Book from 2018 until the end of 2019. As OtB Partnership Ambassador she is now able to do what she loves; working in partnership with Christian organisations, denominations and charities, speaking and supporting the growth and development of schools' work.

Val Ralston, Training and Promotions Officer

Email: valralston@openthebook.net

Val travels up and down the country – sometimes with Bob Hartman – sharing the vision of OtB in a fun and interactive way at national festivals and exhibitions. She also delivers information sessions and training days in areas where there are no local trainers. Val is also specifically responsible for developing OtB in the Chilterns area.

Training and Development Officers

Lynn Satchell – Midlands

Email: lynnsatchell@openthebook.net

Lynn operates around the West Midlands area. Here, she has had opportunity to help develop ‘Working in a Multi-Faith Context’ (WMFC) materials for schools with children of mixed ethnicity. If this key work with Birmingham City Mission proves successful, the material will then be rolled out to other urban areas.

Martha Flavell – North East

Email: marthaflavell@openthebook.net

Martha has been recruited to develop OtB in the north East of England, from York up to Berwick! She has also been instrumental in making in-roads for OtB to go into catholic schools. With a large area to cover, Martha has quite the challenge in this beautiful part of the country. 

Sarah Morris – South Wales

Sarah, our Welsh Training and Development Officer, has moved to South West Wales. Her part-time work in South East Wales has already seen growth of Welsh and English-speaking teams. We are now looking for another Welsh speaker to take over this area for two days a week. Let us know if you are interested!

Kerry Evans - South London

Email: kerryevans@openthebook.net

Kerry has been training Storytellers as a volunteer Trainer since 2016 as part of her role leading the Brighton and Hove City Mission Schools Team. She has now joined the OtB staff team as the Regional Training and Development Officer for the South London area.  Kerry hopes to inspire more people in this area.

 

Matthew Cooper - North London

Email: matthewcooper@openthebook.net

Matthew has also joined the team for North London. He will be focusing on a number of things including building on the work previously done by Nigel Langford. Matt brings a wealth of experience in working with young people and children across North and East London.

Joseff Edwards - South East Wales

Email: joseff.edwards@biblesociety.org.uk

Jos is a passionate Welshman from Bala in North Wales, but now lives in Cardiff with his wife Lydia. Jos really is excited that through developing the work of OtB in Wales he gets to spread his passion for the Bible! He covers mainly South East Wales but is happy to travel throughout Wales, and to speak in Welsh (the language of heaven!) or English. Jos works for both OtB and the Church Engagement team at Bible Society, he would love to meet up or be invited to speak at your church or mid-week event.

Office Staff

Katie Walker, Project and Training Support Officer

Email: enquiries@openthebook.net

Katie is your go-to person for a wide range of subjects both OtB and Bible Society related. Katie joined Bible Society in 1982 so has a vast knowledge of how things work at the office. She is also adept at all things training as she organises a range of services to make our events successful and works closely with all our trainers across the country trying to match up training needs. Katie also oversees data compliance requirements.

Shirley Townley, Safeguarding & OtB Development Officer

Email: enquiries@openthebook.net

Shirley is responsible for ensuring the website has all relevant copy and design in place. She manages the production of Handbooks and Storybooks and anything print related for OtB as well as several other resources at Bible Society. She is also responsible for overseeing the Safeguarding Policy for Bible Society and Open the Book.

What we do

There are lots of ways that you can get involved with Open the Book! Our wonderful growth has happened because people love being volunteer Storytellers. Teams form from local churches, get the local school interested, get training, sign up the team, order resources and then go and do assemblies/acts of Collective Worship in their local school on a weekly or fortnightly basis when possible.

See how you can get involved with one of these ideas:

What you can do

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759