Andy McNab on special operation to celebrate workplace reading

Merseytravel employees and Six Book Challenge completers Carol McCain, Fran Ball and Dave Garvey with Andy McNab (face concealed, as always)....Andrew Davidson/Geoff Robertson Photography
Bestselling novelist and former SAS soldier Andy NcNab thrilled workers at Merseytravel in Liverpool today (5 November 2012) when he visited them to sign copies of his latest book Red Notice, and celebrate their workplace learning success in winning the UK prize draw for workplaces participating in the Six Book Challenge.

Launched in 2008 by independent charity The Reading Agency, the annual Six Book Challenge to help tackle the UK’s continuing skills deficit. It encourages less confident readers to develop a new reading habit and improve their skills at the same time. Participants are invited to pick six reads of their choice and complete a reading diary in order to receive incentives along the way and a certificate. (See “Notes to editors” for more information.) The Reading Agency runs an annual prize draw in partnership with the Campaign for Learning for workplaces which take part in the Six Book Challenge and mark Learning At Work Day; a visit from a top author such as Andy NcNab from Transworld Publishers is the prize.

Six Book Challenge activities amongst Merseytravel employees began in 2008 and has grown every year. It involves successful partnership working by management, trade unions, Union Learner Representatives and a key partnership with Unionlearn, the learning arm of the TUC.
The partnership project, Merseylearn, has been highly effective in supporting learning and skills not only in Merseytravel but also across the transport sector on Merseyside. An amazing 92 people completed the challenge this year, which equates to more than one in five of
Merseytravel’s very diverse workforce, helping them win the National Award which they will collect at a special event in late November.

Andy McNab did a question and answer session and signed copies of his new book Red Notice. Following his visit, Andy said: "Reading and literacy changed my life, which is why I'm supporting the Six Book Challenge. It's great to see the scheme working so well at Merseytravel. Long may it continue."

Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel said: “It’s great to read inspirational books, but to have the chance to discuss literature with Andy really brought it to life for everyone and we look forward to a continuing our involvement with the Six Book Challenge in the coming years”.

Andy McNab joined the infantry as a boy soldier. In 1984 he was ‘badged’ as a member of 22 SAS Regiment and was involved in both covert and overt special operations worldwide. During the Gulf War he commanded the groundbreaking Bravo Two Zero patrol. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army’s most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS in 1993. He wrote about his experiences in the phenomenal bestseller Bravo Two Zero, Immediate Action and Seven Troop. He is the author of the bestselling Nick Stone thrillers as well as a number of other fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and young adults. He has sold over ten million books in the UK alone.

"Merseytravel have been fantastic supporters of the Six Book Challenge,” says The Reading Agency’s adult literacy specialist Genevieve Clarke. “We’re thrilled that they won this annual draw that we run with the Campaign for Learning, and we’re very grateful to Transworld Publishers for bringing Andy McNab to meet Merseytravel staff who have taken part in the Challenge. It’s been a real boost for everyone and we hope that Merseytravel will have even more Six Book Challenge completers in 2013.”

So far this year, 12,000 adult readers have signed up through public libraries, 6,000 through further education and sixth form colleges, 4,000 through prisons and 1,500 through workplaces.
Materials for the 2013 Six Book Challenge are now available to order from   featuring a call to action from Andy McNab