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Project information

Gift of Reading - Core Funding

Support the National Literacy Trust's work in improving the literacy of disadvantaged people in the UK. Core funding enables us to campaign to raise awareness of the importance of literacy; carry out research to better understand the problem in the UK; and support teachers and literacy professionals


Charity information: National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust logo
  • Need


    One in six people in the UK struggle with their literacy. Poor skills compromise, health, happiness, education and employability. The National Literacy Trust aims to improve the literacy skills of disadvantaged people in the UK so that they can reach their full potential.

    Research has shown that book ownership can help to increase children's reading levels, yet one in three children in the UK does not have a book of their own.


    Our research informs our literacy projects, as well as being used by many other organisations. Core funding supports us to run literacy projects across the UK, encouraging children to read for pleasure and helping young people improve their communication skills for the workplace. Our campaigns, such as our contribution to the recent Evening Standard campaign on London's literacy problem, raise awareness of the literacy problem in the UK, bringing the issue higher up the policy agenda.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Empower learners of all ages


    » Run projects to improve people's literacy skills and encourage children and young people to read for pleasure.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...reaching over 65,000 children and young people, helping them improve their literacy skills.

    Aim 2

    Support literacy professionals


    » Offer literacy resources, training and conferences and run networks to allow professionals to share good practice.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...more literacy professionals feeling confident to support literacy. More local authorities taking a strategic approach to literacy.

    Aim 3

    Influence policy and practice


    » Carry out research into literacy practices and the situtation in the UK, campaign to raise the profile, hold events at all party conferences.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...influencing literacy practice through our Transforming Writing research. Raising awareness of the literacy problem in the UK among politicians.

  • Impact


    We believe that literacy skills can transform a person's life, improving their employability, happiness and confidence. It is our aim that through our projects and awareness raising activity, fewer children will start school at a disadvantage caused by communication problems, as more families will have the skills and knowledge required to support their children.


    The main risk for the National Literacy Trust at the moment is the funding environment. We lost 100% of our government funding in March 2011, but had already put in place a plan to diversify our income and are confident that this will succeed. We have produced resources based on projects that are available for schools outside our target audience to purchase and are also working hard to develop our individual and community fundraising.


    Donors will receive a thank-you card on receipt of their donation, which they can choose to be addressed to themselves or a friend or relative.

    All donors will also receive our quarterly supporters' newsletter, with details on all areas of the charity's work and other ways they can get involved.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £72,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £27,500 Annual literacy survey Only annual survey into young people's literacy behaviours. The survey links these with attainment.
      £30,000 Campaigning Staff and associated costs of campaigning to raise awareness of literacy.
      £15,000 Schools network Running cost for schools network to support teachers to improve literacy skills.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Starbucks £39,600 Guaranteed
    Slaughter and May £27,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The National Literacy Trust works across the UK in the most disadvantaged communities, as we know that literacy is a key factor in helping people to improve their lives. We target schools with high levels of pupils on free school meals and low levels of pupils achieving level 4 in English in SATS and work in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, for example, where there is a high level of unemployment.


    Our projects target people living in disadvantage. One of our these, the Young Readers Programme, targets disadvantaged children and their families, allowing them to choose free books of their own to keep and encouraging them to discover reading for pleasure. Participants develop skills and knowledge around accessing and choosing books. The 2010 evaluation showed that 100% of children with a low prior interest in reading increased their enjoyment of reading and motivation to read.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The National Literacy Trust is the only organisation working across the UK to support literacy development. We are also the only organisation to carry out targeted bookgifting, to encourage children and young people to develop skills around book choice and to choose books they want to read, as well as encouraging future library use at the same time. The only project linking football and literacy is run by the National Literacy Trust in conjunction with the Premier League.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jonathan Douglas - Director

    Jonathan is a trained librarian and has a great deal of experience in the literacy field. He was previously head of policy at the MLA.