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Blog post

28,000 books gifted to children from Ukraine

27 Oct 2022

Ukraine appeal Welcome Reading packs impact.jpg

In July 2022 we launched the National Literacy Trust’s Ukraine Appeal, and with your support we have been able to use our network of contacts in communities across the UK to support children and their families arriving from Ukraine. We have been amazed by the support we’ve received from individuals and organisations across the country. We couldn’t have done this without your support.

Welcome Reading Packs

We know that we are not humanitarian or refugee experts, but we do know the impact storytelling and the power of reading can have on a child, providing comfort when they need it the most. With donations from the Ukraine Appeal, we were able to create and distribute Welcome Reading Packs, which included books such as Marcus Rashford’s You Are a Champion, co-authored by Carl Anka, and Ukrainian book Maya and Her Friends by Larysa Denysenko and Masha Foya. The Welcome Reading Packs gave Ukrainian children a bundle of age-appropriate books to enjoy and get lost in with their families, and back-to-school stationery packs from WHSmith to prepare them for school and unleash their own imagination.

We have gifted over 28,000 books to almost 7000 children.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the boxes. The boys were thrilled. The extras like the pencil case had an amazing effect on the boys as they have nothing from home at all.”

Host Family

In the community

The National Literacy Trust’s work is done at a local level in small hubs across the country. We work with the local community to raise literacy levels using bespoke techniques based on their needs. It is through this network that we’ve been able to directly reach refugee families through our partner organisations and charities in areas like Nottingham, Birmingham, and Manchester.

In Nottingham we worked with the Ukrainian Cultural Centre and their Saturday School to reach Ukrainian refugees arriving in the area.

“Due to the traumatic experiences young Ukrainians have been through, some students who joined our school recently find it difficult to join in all the fun activities and enjoy life to the full. When they walk into the classroom for the first time though and spot the bookshelves filled with books, their eyes light up and smiles appear on their faces - possibly the first smiles in a long time. Such moments are priceless as these one-to-ones with the book take them back to their comfort zone and improve their wellbeing.”

Lina Maksymuk, Head Teacher at Ukrainian Cultural Centre's Saturday School

The road ahead

As we reach the midway point of this first school term, we are turning our attention from our Welcome Reading Packs and supporting children as they begin school, to ongoing work in the community. Whether that’s getting free books to kids, helping parents develop their child’s communication skills, or supporting teachers to talk about different experiences and cultures, our work supporting vulnerable families and children never stops.

You can donate today to continue to support our work across the UK.

Check out our free resources for teachers or families working with refugee children.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the individuals who have supported us, whether it’s donating funds, expertise, or their time, to help us reach almost 7,000 children in the space of four months. We’d also like to thank the organisations who have supported us: 10XBanking, Ashurst, Better World Books, Bloomsbury, Bonnier Books, Barrington Stoke, b small, Canongate, Cleary Gottlieb, Clifford Chance, Faber, Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Penguin Random House, PPS, Scribe UK, WHSmith.

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