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Dollywood Foundation Aiming to Help Kids From Coal Mining Communities



January 26, 2023 - Jeff Conyers, president of the Dollywood Foundation – which is home of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – visited the Coalfields Regeneration Trust's base for the event which was also attended by Dunfermline MSP and education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville.

The aim of the meeting was to share ideas to raise educational standards for the youngest children in Scotland’s former coalfield communities and explore possible future partnership opportunities.


Nicky Wilson, Vice-Chair of the CRT; Pauline Grandison, CRT Head of Operations – Scotland, CRT, Jeff Conyers, President of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP and CRT Scotland trustee Bob Young 


Nicky Wilson, Vice-Chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said all parties shared the ambition of increasing educational standards for children in former coalfield communities.

He continued: “The CRT is really keen to work with our partners to explore all possible opportunities to give children in Scotland’s former coalfield areas the best start in life and we hope we can find more ways to work together in the future.”

Jeff Conyers, President of The Dollywood Foundation, said he had been inspired by the "enthusiasm and support" to bring Dolly’s vision to ex-coal mining communities supported by Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

"Dolly’s ongoing commitment to support the growth of the Imagination Library here in Scotland means we can share the joy of reading with more and more children each year," he said.

"However, we couldn’t do it without the hard work and dedication of community partners – like CRT – who help fund and support the programme.

"We are delighted to be working with CRT, as they share our passion for helping children dream big no matter where they come from!”

Shirley-Anne Somerville added: "It was a pleasure to meet with Jeff today and find out more about the fantastic work being done by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to instil a love of reading in young people around the globe.

"I know that the Coalfields Regeneration Trust already do so much to support people across West Fife and I'm pleased to see them seeking out innovative partnerships like this to try and help young people in our local communities.

"Every child and young person deserves to have the same opportunities available to them – wherever they live in Scotland."