"Lots of people don't have extra cash to splash on a brand new book": The joy books can bring during the festive season

Published on: 28 November 2022

During the festive period, with the support of book lovers like you, we hope to give surprise book gifts to 16,000 children through partners in foodbanks, local authorities, and other local organisations. One such partner is Halewood Youth in Community Centre in Liverpool.  


Mark Nelson, Manager at Halewood Youth in Community Centre, spoke to us about what the festive parcels mean for the families he works with at Halewood. 

Mark says: 

Halewood Youth in Community Centre  has existed in the heart of our local community for over 55 years. 

The area is classified in the top 10 per cent in the English and Welsh indices of social deprivation and our community centre is right in the middle of it. 

The packs are the ideal gift for children at different ages. The centre also gives them a gift of a selection box to complement the packsthis is an extra nice touch for the children who may not necessarily get that much at Christmas. 

People were overwhelmed when we gave them the books – particularly the parents who may not necessarily be in a position to afford Christmas presents.

"Lots of people don’t have extra cash to splash on a brand-new book, no matter how much they might want to.

"An interesting, age-specific book is an ideal gift for the children we work with.The children were so excited. 

I heard from one or two local parents that the children brought the books into school to show their friends and teachers. 

Making reading more accessible 

When it comes to reading, one of the main barriers our families face is access to books, as well as parental ability and understanding of the importance of books for young people. It was great for BookTrust to send us the packs, so we can deliver them to the families and help support them.  

Getting children reading and sharing books is an important part of our work, and staff integrate time for reading in their weekly planning. We even have a special reading corner in the centre.  

I think there is an extra incentive for children to read if they’ve got a physical book in their hand. A lot of our clientele don't have access to books because of a lack of disposable finance. 

The BookTrust book gift packs at Christmas time are great. They’re really appreciated. 

Through BookTrust’s Christmas Appeal, we aim to give 16,000 book gifts to disadvantaged children and children in care, to help brighten up their Christmas. Just £10 from you could send a book parcel to a child in care. Can you help?