About Us

About Us Cy

Throughout 2019, we are celebrating 20 years of Open the Book (OtB)!

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. After being inspired by this, the project spread into Gloucestershire in 2001. Later, in 2007, a national charity was formed. With increasing growth of volunteer numbers into the thousands, OtB joined Bible Society in 2013. Now, in 2019, we want to celebrate and spread OtB even more. Come and join us!

Registered Storytellers & Trainers

For first login as a registered Storyteller

Meet the team

Julie Jefferies, Head of Open the Book

Email: training@openthebook.net

Julie first became involved in OtB as a Storyteller and then as a volunteer Trainer from 2008. As Head of Open the Book, she oversees all things OtB. This includes writing the strategy, handling the budget and casting the vision. Julie also leads the nine other members of the staff team in all our activities and projects and has key input with all our resources.

Alison Clark, OtB Training and Development Manager

Email: alisonclark@openthebook.net

Alison started a Storyteller team in 2015 and joined the OtB staff team in 2018. With a background in training and development, she oversees our five Regional Training and Development Officers as well as all the volunteer trainers spread over England and Wales. Based in the North East of England, Alison will be clocking up the miles to inspire and develop training and network hubs in new areas.

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 – West 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.

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 collating and editing news for the Storytellers’ and Trainers’ newsletters, as well as ensuring the website has all relevant copy and design in place. She manages the production and reprints of Handbooks and Storybooks and 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