Get disadvantaged children reading regularly and by choice with BookTrust

Reading has a lifelong positive impact on a child, improving their health and wellbeing, creativity and educational outcomes. BookTrust’s aim is to get disadvantaged children reading regularly and by choice.

At a glance…

  • BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity which reaches disadvantaged children in their early years in over 95% of English local authorities.
  • BookTrust reaches every baby in their first year of life and provides books in 35 different languages.
  • 226,700 children will benefit from the Foundation's grant to BookTrust.

“I think [because of Letterbox Club] she associated books with something positive.”Foster carer

The Mohn Westlake Foundation grant is funding development into new ways of helping disadvantaged and vulnerable children and their families with reading.

Reaching more groups of vulnerable children aged 0-13 to become readers

The Mohn Westlake Foundation is funding the development of a multi-book reading offer carefully tailored to support a range of vulnerable children such as those recovering from trauma or in need of mental health support, adopted children and potentially for children on the edge of care. Using the charity's successful Letterbox Club programme, which is designed for children in care, as a model, a small development team is developing a book gifting model for other vulnerable children, engaging with experts such as children’s social work teams, heads of virtual schools, fostering agencies and those supporting adopted children. The new multi-book gifting model will be piloted with 1,700 children over the next three years.

“I’d say 80% of the children I’ve cared for have never been read to at home before. They get really excited when they get a Letterbox parcel because they know what’s in them. It’s like getting a present on your birthday"Foster carer

Getting more disadvantaged children under five reading

The grant is enabling BookTrust to target children in disadvantaged families facing the greatest barriers to reading. Research shows that impact of interventions can increase by designing activities that extend the moment of reading into role play, digital experience, and real-life events. The charity is currently undertaking a large-scale transformation of its early years programme and the Foundation funding is helping to fund the testing and piloting of innovative activities to engage families who are not confident with their reading.

Alongside these, the charity is developing a storyteller pack to support early years practitioners, giving them the skills and confidence to bring stories to life in ways that will engage harder to reach families.

And for families who speak a different language at home, The Foundations’s grant is helping to increase delivery of dual language books to reach a further 10,000 children.

“[It ]helped me encourage the rest of my family to take part in reading. Especially my partner as he wouldn’t be a confident reader"Parent

For more information about BookTrust and their projects, please visit their website:

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