Further to a strong pool of candidates applying to be the LBF Charity of the Year, The London Book Fair has decided to appoint two charities this year, whose work focuses on bringing books and literacy to wider and younger audiences.
National Literacy Trust is a charity changing people’s life chances through the power of words – from first words, through school days to training, jobs and beyond. In 2022, the National Literacy Trust reached over 1.3 million children and young people through their work in schools and the community. With the support of their partners, including from the publishing industry, they were able to gift over 500,000 books and work with over 8,000 schools and reach over 9,000 parents. This year, the charity marks thirty years of changing life stories through the power of words, and will be celebrating this monumental milestone at the Fair.
Meanwhile, Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation charity, aiming to share the power of books and help create a more equal world. Celebrating its seventieth year, it is supported by over 100 UK and international publishers. Every year it provides over one million brand-new books to communities where people would otherwise have few or no books and works with partners to support and establish safe reading spaces. In 2023, it provided 1,235,900 books to communities in twenty-two countries, giving over thirteen million people the opportunity to read. Last year also saw the launch of its most ambitious campaign to date, Generation Reader – aiming to reach ten million young people across sub-Saharan Africa with the books they need to realise their potential – and their dreams.
Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: “We are thrilled to be The London Book Fair’s Charity of the Year 2024. Both organisations are driven by an understanding of the power of books and reading, and the vital role they have in inspiring children and young people and supporting their lifelong literacy skills. We look forward to working together to showcase the incredible work of the National Literacy Trust, as we support and empower communities across the UK facing the biggest challenges with literacy. Together we can help people change their stories.”
Alison Tweed, Chief Executive of Book Aid International, said: “We are thrilled to be chosen as The London Book Fair’s joint Charity of the Year for 2024, alongside the National Literacy Trust. In this our 70th year we want to say a huge thank you to UK publishers, with whose support we are able to send over 1 million books every year to people who would otherwise have nothing to read. Our new Generation Reader campaign aims to build on this work, giving ten million young people across Africa access to life-transforming books. We look forward to meeting with publishers at London Book Fair this year, to explore how we can do even more to share the power of books around the world.”