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News story

We receive huge donation of 160,000 books to deliver in our Hubs, courtesy of HarperCollins

17 Dec 2021

child reading2

We're excited to receive HarperCollins' largest ever single donation of 160,000 books, which will be shared among our 15 Hubs throughout December and January.

The unprecedented donation was made following our report in November, which highlighted that one in eleven disadvantaged children and young people in the UK don’t have a single book of their own. This raised concerns that hundreds of thousands of 8- to 18-year olds could be missing out on the benefits of owning their own book and sparked our Christmas campaign to give the gift of reading.

HarperCollins’ donation is part of its ‘5 Days of Giving’ to charities and causes in England, Scotland and Ireland this Christmas and is on top of our long-term partnership. Schools in Blackpool, Manchester and Stoke are among the first to receive their shipment of books which include Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, Paddington and the Christmas Surprise by Michael Bond, and Father Christmas Heard a Parp by Olaf Falafel.

“No child should be denied the chance to have their own book and this very generous donation from HarperCollins will make all the difference for so many children up and down the UK who may not own a book of their own. Our book gifting programmes have shown that giving children new, high quality books of their choice, that they can keep forever, means they tend to read more and enjoy reading more in their free time. “Recent research shows that reading for pleasure out of school is a major contributing factor to success at school and then in later life and is linked to a higher lifetime earning potential. In fact, the analysis shows that after 30 years, this reading for pleasure shift could add as much as £4.6 billion a year to the UK’s GDP.”

Jonathan Douglas CBE, our Chief Executive

“Christmas is a time of celebration but also an incredibly difficult period for many. I am delighted that HarperCollins has been able to support the National Literacy Trust’s #givingreading campaign during our ‘5 Days of Giving’. It’s very much our hope that these book donations will give children and young people who may not have a received a book otherwise, a brighter Christmas.”

Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins CEO

Connecting Storiesis an initiative that evolved from the work of the Literacy Project, set up in 2018 by the Publishers Association and then President Charlie Redmayne.

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