Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity that makes a nationwide impact on individuals, families and communities, and culture in the UK. We make a significant positive contribution to the educational outcomes of children from the earliest age. We work to empower people of all ages and abilities by giving them confidence and choices about reading. And we want individuals of all backgrounds to benefit from the wellbeing that a rich and positive engagement in reading and writing can bring.
Our work supports children and young people, parents and carers and indeed anyone who would benefit from the positive impact that books, reading and writing can have on their lives.
Vision: Empowering people through reading and writing.
Mission: Booktrust inspires everyone to enjoy books, reading and writing and the lifelong benefits that they bring. Our aim is to build a literate, connected and creative society.
A personal message from Viv Bird, Booktrust Chief Executive
I am proud to say that I am a reader. Since I became Chief Executive, five years ago, I have discovered some wonderful books that I am sure I wouldn't have come across if it weren't for Booktrust's recommendation.
Books by writers at mid-point of their careers, such as Henry Hitchen's The Secret Life of Words or The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall, and books by authors well known in their own countries - Haruki Marukami, Per Peterson and Aharon Appelfeld - which all widened my understanding and knowledge of the world. I also have a great excuse to keep up with the extraordinary range of children's books, thanks to our children's prizes and our own children's book experts.
At Booktrust, we are passionate about sharing our love of reading with others, whatever their age, recognising that some children - and indeed adults - need more support and encouragement than others.
We are lucky enough to be able to count on many well-known companies, organisations and individuals amongst our partners. They all help us to make a huge difference in taking people to literacy - and well beyond.
Just one example of this in action is Bookstart, our free books for babies scheme. It's a great British idea that's been copied around the world. And it absolutely wouldn't have been possible to bring more than 40 million books into the homes of families over the past 20 years without the help of publishers, libraries, children's settings and so many other passionate and willing participants at a community level.
All the evidence shows that a positive engagement with books and stories is crucial in promoting social mobility. Indeed, enjoying reading is more important for children's educational success than their family's socio-economic status. For Booktrust, making children confident readers is an investment in the future. We have made that case to governments of all persuasions for many years, and the Department for Education's recent announcement of continued funding for our work in the early years - including Bookstart - demonstrates that they know the value of Booktrust's work and recognise that, as a charity, Booktrust is able to unlock private sector support that makes the bookgifting programmes incredibly good value to the public purse.
Of course, at Booktrust, we don't stand still. We're diversifying our funding and building new partnerships through the Children's Reading Fund - to change the story for the most disadvantaged children in society. We're also developing a new programme with the DfE to help target vulnerable two-year-olds. And this year 200,000 children in years 5 and 6 across England are reading to win books for their school as part of the new national schools reading competition, Read for My School.
These are exciting times - because I know we are making a difference.
Viv Bird, Chief Executive