On International Literacy Day, British Land is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the National Literacy Trust for an 11th year to support the charity’s Young Readers Programme, the largest and longest partnership between a business and charity to improve literacy in the UK.
The programme works with schools and areas around British Land sites, encouraging children aged 11 and under to read for fun and develop their literacy skills through events run by British Land volunteers, in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust.
The programme prioritises inclusivity. Children are encouraged to enjoy reading and discover new authors and books reflecting a variety of experiences and participate in memorable activities run in partnership with British Land’s customers.
During 2021/22 the partnership has:
- reached nearly 8,000 primary school children with reading-for-enjoyment events;
- provided 90 teachers with training and resources to help them deliver the programme, including book recommendations and ideas for activities to run themselves;
- worked with 86 schools to deliver events across the UK, targeting schools with a higher-than-average percentage of pupils in receipt of free school meals; and
- hosted events across 29 British Land sites, introducing a new flexible model, comprising of site events, in-school events, or online.
Over 11 years, the British Land Young Readers Programme has:
- supported over 63,000 primary school children to read for enjoyment; and
- gifted over 190,000 high quality books.
Fiona Evans, Director of School Programmes at National Literacy Trust, commented: “This year has seen us reach our 60,000th child through the British Land Young Readers Programme, an incredible achievement after eleven years. The new flexible model has allowed us to increase participation numbers from 2021, as well as surpass our 2022 target. We are grateful to British Land for their continued support of the Young Readers Programme, helping us reach more children across the UK when they need it most.”
Anna Devlet, Head of Social Sustainability at British Land, commented: “Literacy and reading for enjoyment can have a meaningful impact on social mobility, which we have seen first-hand through our partnership with the National Literacy Trust. We focus our efforts collaboratively with our partners to make a positive impact in the communities around our places and are delighted to see local schools participating in these events at our places once again.
“We are proud to have extended our reach in the partnership’s eleventh year, helping even more children across the UK develop skills for the future and a love of reading.”
In their 2021 The Power of Reading for Pleasure report, British Land and the National Literacy Trust found that if all children read for pleasure almost daily, the number of children getting five good GCSE grades could increase by 1.1 million over a generation. According to the report, gaining these grades would boost the average lifetime earnings of those individuals by £57,000, which could grow GDP by £4.6 billion within a generation.
British Land was presented with the Award for Leadership by Dame Julia Cleverdon CBE DCVO at the National Literacy Trust Business Awards 2022 as recognition for the long-term strategic partnership.