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News story

New partnership gifts thousands of free children’s books to London families supported by food provision scheme this summer

01 Jun 2020

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This summer, families with children and young people supported by the Mayor’s Fund for London’s Kitchen Social programme will receive one of 9,000 brand new books donated by HarperCollins and an exciting activity pack alongside their food parcel, thanks to a new partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

9,000 families with children and young people across 29 Kitchen Social hubs in 14 London boroughs* will receive:

  • One of five books suitable for early years to young adult from authors and brands including Bing, Michael Bond, Richard Scarry, Veronica Roth and National Geographic
  • National Literacy Trust activity packs which we have filled with fun reading and writing activities to do at home, including a Time Together booklet for parents with children aged 0-5 and activity booklets for 5-8-year-olds and 9-12-year-olds based on those available on our Family Zone website

Many families in these boroughs rely on the support Kitchen Social offers during school holidays. The programme has recently adapted and expanded their offering beyond this and staff are taking on more door-to-door deliveries of food parcels where possible.

Our research shows that almost 60,000 children and young people in London don’t own a single book, and while public libraries are closed and the majority of children are still unable to attend school, it has never been a more important time to get books into the hands of the children who need them most.

We’re so pleased to work with the Mayor’s Fund for London’s Kitchen Social programme to be able to support thousands of families across London with brand new books and activities. It’s crucial that all children have access to books and resources to support their literacy development and their wellbeing at this time. We also want to thank HarperCollins for generously donating 9,000 books to bring the magic of stories to homes across the capital this summer.

Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust

* London boroughs in which the 29 Kitchen Social hubs are operating:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Barnet
  • Brent
  • Camden
  • Ealing
  • Greenwich
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Islington
  • Lambeth
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Westminster
  • Woolwich
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