Vision for Literacy Business Pledge

WHSmith Young Readers 2

In its seventh year, the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge calls on UK businesses to join the national literacy campaign to help close the nation’s literacy gap and boost social mobility.

In 2022, as a continuing response to the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are calling on businesses to support literacy levels to protect the economic future of children and young people.

The Pledge was first established by the National Literacy Forum in 2015, with the support of KPMG. In 2022 88 businesses have pledged to take action. You can download the 2022 pledge.

At an event in January, Dame Julia Cleverdon CBE DCVO presented the first National Literacy Trust Business Awards in Association with KPMG, showcasing some of the best work in this space -

Award for Innovation

  • Lancôme have shown innovation with a number of projects focussed on improving employability. They have funded the Words for Work: Women in Leadership programme, which by the end of year five will have supported over 5,000 young women. Lancôme also funded the Behind the Cover book club which has reached 1500 participants, providing access to free audiobooks and accompanying resources.

Award for Impact

  • WHSmith’s long-standing relationship and multi-layer partnership with the National Literacy Trust has delivered a huge amount impact in the literacy space. This has included, supporting the Young Readers programme, helping set up the Swindon Hub, providing unrestricted funding and leveraging connections and campaigns. Most notable and impactful this year, has been the campaign to end book poverty with Marcus Rashford and Pan Macmillan leading to the introduction of the Marcus Rashford Book Club.

Award for Leadership

  • British Land are a long-term strategic partner of the National Literacy Trust, showing leadership within the literacy space, and inspiring other businesses to do the same. The partnership has so far helped 55,722 children across the UK to read for pleasure and improve their literacy skills. During the pandemic they responded by providing books and educational materials to children most in need of support, benefiting more than 4,000 families.

Award for Collaboration

  • Cleary Gottlieb supports the National Literacy Trust through volunteering, fundraising, and programme support. In 2021, Cleary Gottlieb hosted 20 young people across the UK for its first Words for Work Virtual Internship, offering students aged 15-18 a first-hand insight into various careers in the legal profession. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Cleary partnered with NLT to offer online materials, CV reviews and mock interviews to those learning from home. Cleary Gottlieb is also a founding member of Leaders for Literacy: Law, a roundtable of law firms committed to addressing the literacy challenge in the United Kingdom.

If you'd like to find more information about the Pledge, then please email