Share the magic of books with children who need it most, with BookTrust's 2023 Christmas appeal

Published on: 14 November 2023

BookTrust has launched its Christmas appeal, aiming to send 17,000 festive book gifts to children who are in care or visiting food banks this year.

An illustration of a child receiving a festive parcel at a food bank

Illustrations: Sophie Kent

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BookTrust has launched its annual Christmas appeal, working to share the magic of books and stories with disadvantaged children and those living in care.

Donating £10 will help create moments of joy and excitement for these children with a surprise book parcel, which also includes a bookmark and poster beautifully illustrated by Fiona Lumbers and a letter from Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho.

Sharing life-changing experiences

A YouGov survey commissioned by BookTrust found that 84% of parents with at least one child aged 18 or under who remembered their experiences of being read to as a child believed that this started their love of reading, brought them closer to the person reading to them, or helped them succeed in school.

Now, BookTrust wants to extend these memorable and potentially life-changing experiences to more children than ever - especially those who may be facing a more difficult Christmas.

An illustration of a child clutching a glowing book parcel with a BookTrust tag as a dog smiles next to her

Pic: Sophie Kent

The survey also showed that 45% of parents in the UK have cut back on their spending so they can afford to buy gifts for their children this Christmas, while 19% are worried they won't be able to afford presents.

As many families continue to experience financial challenges, this year BookTrust plans to make the season brighter for 17,000 children across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, helped by generous book donations from Hachette UK, Quarto, and Simon & Schuster UK.

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'Every child deserves to experience the joy of reading'

Research shows that regular reading has huge benefits for children, from having a positive impact on mental wellbeing and educational outcomes to helping to overcome disparities caused by inequality.

BookTrust's Christmas appeal is not just about books, but also about creating special, shared moments that will stay with these children for a lifetime.

A child's postcard about the festive appeal reading "I felt happy about receiving my parcel, I loved it very much"

"The joy of reading is something every child deserves to experience," said Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust. "Our Christmas appeal is a reminder that books are not just stories - they unlock the imagination and are sources of knowledge, connection and fun.

"For children who celebrate Christmas it's traditionally such an exciting time, but for a child living in care who may be spending their first holiday in an unfamiliar home, or the child whose parents are under major financial strain - this year may be very different.

"We're asking for your support because we want this Christmas to be wonderfully memorable for thousands of children. We want more children than ever to experience the magic of receiving a beautiful surprise gift that's just for them."

Donate today to bring the Magic of Books to a child this Christmas

Download the full press release

Topics: Christmas, News

Thank you for helping children discover the magic of books

This Christmas we delivered 17,000 festive book parcels, reaching more children than ever before.

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