Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives with reading and writing, has today announced that it will gift books to children and families visiting food banks this winter, for the third year.
The need for food banks has continued to grow in Scotland, rising 30% between April 2022 and March this year, compared to the same period in 2021–22 . New data from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports that over a million people in Scotland are living in poverty, around a quarter of whom are children .
Marking its 25th anniversary this year, Scottish Book Trust works to tackle inequality and break the poverty cycle through access to books and reading. Since 2020, Scottish Book Trust has distributed over 290,000 books to children and families in need through food banks, community hubs and other charities across Scotland.
Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler and Macmillan Children’s Books have given the charity kind permission to use illustrations from The Gruffalo’s Child to help support and raise awareness of the charity’s Christmas appeal.
Julia Donaldson said: ‘Scottish Book Trust has been doing great work for 25 years supporting children with literacy and improving access to books. The charity has just beaten the Gruffalo by one year, as he is going to be 25 next year. In fact, the Gruffalo’s origins go back to when I first tried the story out in various primary schools in Scotland, under the wing of Scottish Book Trust. I have continued to work with the charity regularly since then and am very pleased that The Gruffalo’s Child is leading their Christmas appeal this year and helping children and families at a time when books and stories are needed more than ever.’
Axel Scheffler said: ‘I am very happy that The Gruffalo’s Child is at the centre of Scottish Book Trust’s fundraising campaign this Christmas. Enjoying books together is important for families and it is terrible that many children still have no access to books – and that this need is becoming ever greater. I hope that many people will support this Christmas appeal, so that Scottish Book Trust can increase their work in making a difference to children’s lives in Scotland.’
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: ‘Christmas is looking stark for many families across Scotland. Access to books is absolutely essential for a child’s development and wellbeing, and for many the only books they have at home are the ones that have been given to them by Scottish Book Trust. Books make a huge difference to daily lives, bringing comfort, escapism and togetherness in families. Every child deserves a little magic at Christmas and donations to our appeal will provide vital support for those most in need.’
Funds raised from the appeal will enable Scottish Book Trust to give books to families via food banks and community hubs and deliver more of its life-changing work. Some examples of its programmes include specialist support for young families facing significant challenges through Bookbug for the Home, providing tactile books for children with additional support needs and supporting those living with dementia and the people who care for them.
To learn more about Scottish Book Trust’s Christmas appeal, visit scottishbooktrust.com/donate.