'I am concerned that many of the pupils at the school I work in are not so lucky. Many pupils do not all have books at home, they do not all have money for books, they do not all have internet access to access public library ebooks, and they do not all have adults at home encouraging them to engage with books and stories – this disparity was there before, but will be growing ever greater and it may be even more difficult post-lockdown to engage these children with reading for pleasure.'
- School Librarian concerned about pupils during lockdown
In 2021, Scottish Book Trust surveyed education and early years practitioners, and their responses underlined the need for books at home, with over two thirds stating some children they work with only own books gifted to them by Scottish Book Trust. Over 90% of respondents also stated that some pupils had lost reading skill and vocabulary due to lockdown.
Books help families bond, bring joy and comfort, give children a sense of escapism and, importantly, improve their mental health and wellbeing. This year, our research revealed that 85% of parents from Scotland’s most deprived areas said that reading helps them bond with their child and that reading makes their children happy, while 95% of parents from all areas in Scotland said they think it is important for children to own their own books.
'I just wanted to say a massive thanks so much for the books for my little boy in P2. Honestly it really is such a beautiful thing to do and it really encourages reading and playing. We normally go to the library but with COVID we’re lucky to get these beautiful books home.'
- Parent/Carer whose child received books from Scottish Book Trust during lockdown
We have been overwhelmed by demand to reach and support more children and families. That’s why we are undertaking a long-term fundraising campaign to ensure everyone in Scotland has equal access to books.
Where does my donation go?
All funds raised from the campaign will enable Scottish Book Trust to deliver more life-changing work. In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individuals.
Every donation will make a difference to children and adults in Scotland. Here's what your support can do:
- £10 could gift a tactile book to a child with additional support needs, helping all children access books
- £20 could make it possible for a child in a disadvantaged community to access the life-changing magic of live author events
- £50 could provide a set of books to a care home, community setting, hospital or prison to ensure everyone can enjoy reading for Book Week Scotland
- £120 could create a specialised kit for families who need the most support to share stories, songs and rhymes with their children
- £300 could give a family member the tools they need to share the joy of books with a loved one living with dementia, helping them connect and relax
- £500 could make an author event possible for remote or disadvantaged communities across Scotland
You understand the huge difference having books makes to children every day, in so many ways. Will you donate today and give the life-changing magic of books to a child like Isla?
We are delighted to have the support of The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.
'I have read and performed my stories to many children in Scotland and when The Gruffalo was published, I was writer-in-residence at Easterhouse in Glasgow. I have seen first-hand how books can light up a child, catch an imagination and change a life. A lot of the work I have done has been alongside Scottish Book Trust and I have seen the important and effective work that they do for children and families throughout Scotland. I couldn't be more pleased that The Gruffalo is now leading a fundraising campaign for the charity at a time when families need books and support more than ever.'
- Julia Donaldson
'It is sobering to see these well-known pictures from The Gruffalo without the characters included and to be starkly reminded that so many children and families have no access to books. Helping them to gain access is an urgent issue and I hope that this campaign will be able to raise the funds needed for Scottish Book Trust to make a difference to children's lives in Scotland.'
- Axel Scheffler