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Our 21st anniversary

This year we celebrated 21 years of changing lives through reading and writing.

Last updated: 26 November 2020

From improving employability, social skills and family bonding to reducing stress and anxiety, developing language skills and doing better at school, the benefits of reading are varied and life-changing.

With one in five adults, and almost one in four children, living in poverty in Scotland, our work has never been more important. For many children and families across Scotland, books supplied by Scottish Book Trust will be the only ones in their home.

We commissioned new research which revealed that under a third of parents (31%) read to their children every day. This drops to just 15% for those that were never read to by their own parents or carers as a child, underlining the importance and long term impact of reading with children from an early age. The research also indicated a direct, positive link between reading and mental well-being.

Supported by our patron, Val McDermid, we shared 21 books that had changed the author’s life. Val was joined by writers across Scotland sharing their life-changing reads, and spreading the message that books are more than a story.

Our 2019 Christmas appeal focused on giving teen parents and their babies the best start together. Research shows that younger parents are less likely to read to their babies, and many teen parents also face challenging circumstances such as social isolation, poverty, or lack of confidence. Supporters helped to gift a copy of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's classic picture book, The Snail and the Whale, to teen parents across Scotland who were expecting a baby.

The campaign received support from Tom Fletcher, Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Irvine Welsh and Val McDermid among others. Results allowed us to exceed our target and support over 1,000 families across Scotland.

Read our annual review 2020