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National Literacy Trust in the North East - frequently asked questions

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Discover the National Literacy Trust's new, bold and ambitious strategy here Find out more about Early Words Matter

What is the National Literacy Trust in the North East?

The National Literacy Trust in the North East works with the community to empower children and families with the literacy skills needed to get the most out of life.

We work with local organisations and businesses to strengthen the culture of reading, writing, speaking and listening across the region and engage businesses to play an important role in addressing the literacy challenge.

Our campaign work is focused in the four main areas with the highest levels of deprivation and lowest levels of literacy: Newcastle, Gateshead, Stockton and Redcar. We provide free books, events, and activities for primary school aged children, and cater to families with little ones aged 0-5 years old through our flagship early years programmes, First Words Together and Early Words Together which are part of our newly launched Early Words Matter campaign.

Keep up to date with our latest activity by following our Facebook page

Or get in touch with us at

What is the National Literacy Trust?

Literacy changes everything. It opens the door to the life you want. It’s the key to knowledge, confidence and inspiration. It’s better results at school, and better jobs. If you grow up without the tools to communicate, without books to read or opportunities to write, it’s harder to get where you want to go.

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity that helps people overcome these challenges and change their life chances through the power of words – reading, writing, speaking and listening. From first words, through school days to training, jobs and beyond. Together, we’re helping people change their stories.

Our impact

  • Last year we directly supported the literacy of 116,290 children through our programmes
  • We supported literacy in 5,529 schools and 184 early years settings
  • 47,786 children and young people took part in our annual literacy survey and we released four research reports with the findings
  • Our campaigning had a media reach of 262m and an equivalent advertising value of £5.2m

Find out more about our work in our impact report

What is the literacy need in the North East?

  • 1 in 5 children aged 5 to 8 in the North East (20.3%) don't have a book of their own at home.
  • In the North, child literacy levels are among the lowest in the country. Around 27% of children in the North East are already struggling with their literacy levels by the age of 5.
  • In the North East, 1 in 5 state primary schools do not have a library compared with only 1 in 20 in the South.
  • Almost 1 in 5 (17%) of adults in the North East have very poor literacy skills
  • There is a general trend of poor literacy skills across the North East.

If you grow up without the tools to communicate, without books to read or opportunities to write, it’s harder to get where you want to go. As an adult, you can’t get the jobs you want, and navigating every day life can be difficult – from using the internet, to filling out forms or making sense of instructions on medicines or road signs. If you have children, it’s hard to support their learning, and so the cycle continues.

Find out more about our place-based approach to raise awareness of the importance of literacy.

Can I use the National Literacy Trust in the North East Logo?

We encourage partners to request copies of our logo to include in their own materials in instances where there has been a collaboration

Process for requesting our logo

  • Email Sophie Koranteng with details of where you would like to include our logo
  • We will send you the logo in the relevant format, along with our branding guidelines to ensure correct placement
  • Email Sophie the document or a link to the website with the logo so we can keep track of where it is being used

Can I volunteer with the National Literacy Trust in the North East?

Our Literacy Champions are a wide network of passionate volunteers who support us in our aim of empowering peoples across the country to change their own story.

Find out how you can become a Literacy Champion.

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