CONTACT KNOWHOW Encouraging Reading

How do books find an audience in younger readers? With a lot of help and support from reading charities! KnowHow editor, Eleanor Pender, takes a closer look at national organisations championing reading and literacy in the UK.

How do young people find their way to reading? How do they develop that love of stories we know and enjoy? For me, it was weekly public library visits with my sisters and a small school library in my primary school. With these services coming more and more under threat, reading charity organisations become all the more important.

This week, KnowHow recommends checking in with a few national UK reading charities, the books they explore and the writers they work with across the UK.

G8 Battersea Studios, 80 Silverthorne Road, Battersea, London SW8 3HE

BookTrust is the UK's largest reading charity and reach 3.9 million children each year with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading. Working across the country in England, Northern Ireland and Wales - with Scotland supported by the brilliant Scottish Book Trust - BookTrust runs a number of projects getting books into the children’s hands. These include Bookstart, giving free books for every child in England and Wales from 0-5 years, Spark, providing free books and resources for special schools to suit both primary and secondary-aged children and Bookbuzz, helping schools inspire a love of reading in 11 to 13-year-olds. There are many, many more. Explore their website for more details!

The Reading Agency
Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA

The Reading Agency works to encourage reading as a tool for everyone to have a better life. With projects and programmes for all ages - from toddlers to adult readers - the Reading Agency is the team behind the Summer Reading Challenge, the minds behind the wonderful World Book Night, a nationwide celebration of reading and a firm highlight in the literary calendar, and Quick Reads for those who struggle with reading. With an incredible team of ambassadors, libraries and partners including BBC Radio 2 and ageUK, the Reading Agency is working hard each year to help people tackle life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading.

National Literacy Trust
68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL

The National Literacy Trust works with schools and communities to help improve literary skills for disadvantaged children across all ages, from early years to secondary schools. Together with parents and teachers, the Trust works with local partners, businesses, health, education and cultural organisations, to tackle literacy issues in communities across the UK where low levels of literacy are seriously impacting on people’s lives. Campaigns such as Bradford Stories, Middlesbrough Reads, Read on Nottingham and Our Stories, North Yorkshire have been led by the National Literacy Trust.

Main image: Free library books for schools, BookTrust initiative, Bookbuzz, credit BookTrust

Based in Bristol, Eleanor Pender lectures in digital communications and chairs YA and middle grade events at festivals including Bath Children's Literature Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and YALC. She is currently working on a young adult fantasy novel.

Do you have any organisations or events for children in your area? Tell KnowHow! Email our KnowHow editor, Eleanor at

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