Charity To Gift Books Via Food Banks To Combat Cost Of Living Crisis

National charity Scottish Book Trust has unveiled plans to give free books to children and families visiting food banks this winter, as the country faces the cost of living crisis.

With overwhelming demand to help children and families living in increasingly challenging circumstances, the charity has launched an urgent Christmas fundraising appeal. The rising cost of living means more children do not have books at home, with over half of parents saying books are too expensive.1

Research has also shown one in five households on low incomes in Scotland have already gone hungry and cold this year, with over a quarter of families with children cutting back on their child needs such as food or childcare, rising to almost 30% for low-income families.2

Marc Lambert, CEO Scottish Book Trust, commented: “This Christmas is looking very stark for so many families across Scotland. Access to books is essential for a child’s development. Without books at home children are missing out and we know the impact of this lasts a lifetime. The simple pleasure of owning a book can make a huge difference in children’s lives, bringing comfort, escapism and togetherness in families.
“Every family deserves a little magic at Christmas and donations to our appeal will be helping Scottish Book Trust deliver more vital work to support those most in need this Christmas.”

Books help families bond, bring joy and comfort, give children a sense of escapism and, importantly, improve their mental health and wellbeing. Research conducted by Scottish Book Trust 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 all parents in Scotland said they think it is important for children to own their own books.3

Scottish Book Trust also surveyed education and early years practitioners and over two thirds stated some children they work with only own books gifted to them by Scottish Book Trust.

Judith Kerr’s Mog the Forgetful Cat will feature in the charity’s appeal, underlining the nostalgia, magic and escapism that books can give children. Scottish Book Trust is very grateful to Judith Kerr’s family and publisher HarperCollins for use of an illustration from the children’s classic Mog’s Christmas.

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 outreach support for young families 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