Doorstep Library

London, UK

In the UK, how well you read has a direct bearing on how well you do in life. For various reasons, children from the poorest families are less likely to have books, less likely to read with their parents and less likely to read for pleasure.

Not only are they more likely to fall behind in their studies as a result, they fall behind in their lives.

To help combat this, we work with Doorstep Library - a network of volunteers working in some of the most disadvantaged areas in London to help introduce children from ages one to 11 to the pleasure of reading and inspire them with it.

Volunteers visit families once a week during term-time, read stories with the children and lend them books to exchange when we return the following week. They emphasise the fun element, and use the power of stories to let the children generate their own interest.

They currently help more than 350 children from 155 families, with more than 50 Home Reading Volunteers lending out some 12,600 books in 2015 alone.

They also engage with parents to show how important (and easy) it is for them to spend time reading with their children and take an active part in their education.

Children from families whose mother-tongue is not English overcome their language barriers more quickly with Doorstep Library and then catch up at school.

Children and parents begin to consider books and reading for pleasure part of home life.