BookTrust celebrates double win at the prestigious MRS Awards

Published on: 06 December 2023

BookTrust is thrilled to announce its remarkable success at the MRS Awards 2023, securing two wins – the MRS/AURA award for 'Activation of Insight' and the MRS/ICG Independent Consultants award, a joint win with agency Untapped Innovation.

A photo of a woman and child sharing a Bookstart pack

The MRS (Market Research Society) Awards are a celebration of the impact and effectiveness of research, insight, and business excellence.

BookTrust's success highlights the organisation's commitment to creating real-world impact through innovative research and insight-driven strategies.

These awards reflect our use of research to drive changes in the programmes we offer, going beyond bookgifting and moving to a model which has changes in reading behaviour at its heart.

Our new early years programmes, Bookstart Toddler and Bookstart Pre-schooler, provide wrap-around reading experiences for low-income families which are showing real evidence of impact. The programmes were designed using large-scale family surveys involving thousands of participants, observations, and in-depth interviews with delivery partners and target families.

As a result, 74% of families said the programme had prompted them to read and share stories more and 66% were encouraged to visit their local library. 82% of families told us they learnt something new about how to share stories with their children.

Supporting children to develop a reading habit

Academic research is clear about the wide-ranging benefits of regular reading, from improved mental and emotional wellbeing to attainment across the curriculum. A child growing up in poverty who is read to at age five has a significantly higher chance of economic success in their 30s than their peers who were not read to.

BookTrust's new programmes are part of a long-term strategic shift to providing targeted support to children from low-income and vulnerable backgrounds as these children have the most to gain from developing a reading habit.

On the success of this ongoing work the MRS judges remarked: "BookTrust has threaded its insight the whole way through the organisation and beyond, to its 6,000 partners across the UK where it will drive further engagement. Impressive!"

Reflecting on the collaboration with Untapped Innovation, the judges said: "This project shows the very best of what can be achieved when bringing together a bespoke team of independents – a fantastic creative range of research methods to drive a programme of innovation and long-lasting impact for the client."

Ruthann Hughes, Director of Research and Impact at BookTrust said the team is "overjoyed and honoured" to have won two awards.

"These awards acknowledge the significant impact of our research and insight not only on our work with thousands of local partners and millions of children across the country, but also on BookTrust as an organisation," she added.

"This win inspires us to continue our mission of inspiring a new generation of children to enjoy books and reading, making a positive difference in their lives."

Claire Goodall, BookTrust's Director of Design and Development, added: "Our research and evidence shows that just giving a child a book won't turn them into a reader; you have to provide a range of support for them and their families from the earliest possible age.

"The transformational journey we've been on at BookTrust, embedding and activating deep-rooted human insight into the heart of all our work, is helping families to discover the magic and power of shared reading. Using books and stories as a catalyst, we are designing and delivering new service offers which have genuine, lasting impact.

"A huge thank you to the team. I am beyond proud of their dedication, passion and hard work that has been instrumental in achieving this success."

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Topics: News

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