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Project information

Give the Gift of Reading This Holiday Season

Over 175,000 children left primary school in 2016-17 unable to read to the expected level. This project will address this by supporting the literacy charity Beanstalk to recruit, train and support volunteers who will work 1- 2- 1 with children in Primary Schools throughout England.

December 2017 - March 2018

Charity information: Beanstalk

Beanstalk logo
  • Need


    Over 175,000 children left primary school in 2016-17 unable to read to the expected level, which has an extremely negative impact on their life chances.
    • Over 70% of children who are excluded from school have difficulties in basic literacy.
    • Adults with functional literacy skills earn on average 16% than those will low literacy skills.
    • Illiteracy costs the UK economy £81 billion annually.


    Beanstalk is England’s fastest growing children’s literacy charity and we provide one-to-one support to children through trained reading helpers. The majority of the children we work with are on free school meals and come from deprived backgrounds. This project will allow us to grow our much needed work and will improve levels of confidence, reading attainment and give children a passion for books.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve reading attainment, confidence and create a positive attitude towards reading in children


    » To recruit, vet, train and support volunteers who will go into Primary Schools and work 1-2 -1 with 3 children for a full year.

    What success will look like

    Our impact is measured by using reading records completed by the school, volunteer and child. This gives us a very clear understanding of the change seen in the child.

  • Impact


    Our project will improve the levels of literacy in children throughout the country. The long term benefits will be seen in the Year 6 reading attainment levels seen in the local schools that we work in. We get a lot of feedback from the Schools that we work with, so a long term understanding of our impact on the School can be recorded. We also still have contact with a few of the children who were helped by Beanstalk volunteers and who have gone on to do very well in School.


    Beanstalk have been operating since 1973 and have learnt tremendously in the years since our launch. We have also made some large operational changes in the last few years to improve our efficiency and have more of a focus on volunteer recruitment and retainment. A risk we have identified is the pressure on Schools budgets as we ask for a contribution for our service, however we have a new Education and Sales strategy which will ensure we are selling our impact effectively to Schools.


    We report annually to donors, but will make sure we are clear at the start of the relationship how often they would like to hear from us and what kind of report they would like to see. We will also encourage a visit to see a session in their local school.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,378

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,660 Salary Costs Inc. admin team who deal with inquiries, coordinators who support volunteers
      £621 Other staff costs Travel expenses etc
      £454 Reading Helper Costs Expenses
      £931 Services Cost Training
      £422 Marketing and Comms Recruitment of volunteers and schools
      £1,092 IT costs Cost of IT systems to ensure volunteer and School data is recorded accurately
      £900 Premises costs The cost of our offices
      £298 Professional and other charges Finance audit

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Schools income £5,537 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project will be based in Primary Schools throughout England - Beanstalk work in London, the East of England (Suffolk, Norfolk, Northampton shire), South East (Kent and Sussex), South West (Somerset), North West (Merseyside, Blackpool, Manchester, Cheshire) and the North East and Yorkshire.


    The majority of the children we work with are on free school meals and come from deprived backgrounds. For many, English is a second language so they are already behind their peers when starting school.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since 1973, we have supported over 150,000 children. Working in partnership with 1,400 schools throughout England, we are now supporting over 11,000 children through 3,300 reading helpers every year. This gives us a wealth of experience and we also work very closely with local and national partners to ensure we are reaching the children who need us the most, such as the local Looked After Children teams.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ginny Lunn

    Ginny Lunn is CEO of Beanstalk and has led on our Vision 2020 which aims to work with 30,000 children by 2020