Over 17,000 books donated to primary schools in some of the UK’s most deprived areas  - Business in the Community

Over 17,000 books donated to primary schools in some of the UK’s most deprived areas 

Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has donated over 17,000 books, worth £162,000, to children in some of the most deprived communities in the UK. The donation was made in partnership with Bookmark Reading Charity, a literacy charity dedicated to improving literacy in the UK. 

With data showing that four out of 10 families who feel they are struggling financially due to the rising cost of living are spending less on books for their children, this programme will help ensure that children across the UK will have a book of their own this Christmas.[1] In addition, with research finding that children who do own a book of their own are six times more likely to read at a more advanced level than expected for their age group, this programme will help with literacy skills for primary school aged children.[2] 

The donation is part of BITC’s work in communities, which includes Blackpool, Bradford, Coventry, Lowestoft, Newport, Norwich, Rochdale, Sheffield, and Wisbech. In these places, BITC is working in partnership with local schools, with a particular focus on improving literacy skills in primary schools. The books were donated to 43 schools in these nine places.[3] 

The books, provided by Miles Kelly Publishing, will help to boost children’s literacy skills, as research shows that children who are eligible for free school meals are twice as likely to not have a book of their own, compared to children who are not eligible for free school meals.[4] 

Baroness Jo Valentine, Director of Place at Business in the Community, said: 

“Reading is an integral part of a child’s development, and an essential skill for success. It’s not right that not having access to books means that some children are missing out on developing vital reading skills during primary school. Through this project, we are hoping to reach children who may never have had a book of their own, ensuring that they receive a present this Christmas that will really make a difference to their lives.”   

Sharon Pindar, Chair and Founder of Bookmark Reading Charity, said: 

“Developing strong reading skills at primary school age is essential, as this is the age group when foundational skills are developed. This donation will help to boost confidence and interest in reading amongst the children who need it most. Through the donation, we have been able to reach thousands of children across the UK to make a difference.” 


Notes to editor 

  1. National Literacy Trust 
  2. Book ownership in 2022 | National Literacy Trust 
  3. The list of schools in each place which received the books can be found below: 

Bradford (all the schools are in Keighley – one of the areas BITC works)   

Ingrow Primary School 

Merlin Top Primary School 

Worth Valley Primary School 

Eastwood Community School 

Victoria Primary School 

St Ann’s Catholic Primary School 

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School 

Our Lady of Victories Primary School 

Parkwood Primary School 


Westminster Primary School 

Roseacre Primary School 

Unity Academy 

Coventry (in partnership with Coventry Building Society, who funded half of the schools and Severn Trent who also donated books) 

St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School  

Broad Heath Community Primary School  

St Laurence’s CofE Primary School  

Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School  

Joseph Cash Primary School 

Aldermans Green School 

Courthouse Green School 

Edgewick School 

John Gulson School 

Henley Green School 

Little Heath School 


Maindee School 

Ringland School 

Glan Llyn School 

Pill Primary School 

St Julian’s School 


Henderson Green Primary School 

West Earlham Infant and Nursery School 

Drayton CofE Junior School 

City Academy Norwich  

Lionwood Infant and Nursery School  


Ellesmere Childrens Centre 

Astrea Academy Sheffield 

The Meadows Nursery 

Ann’s Grove School 

Lower Meadow Primary School 

Lowfields Primary School 

Woodlands Primary School 

Woodseats Primary School 

Meynell Primary School 

Hinde House School 

Each place will receive over 2500 books. 

For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media and Public Affairs on 020 7566 8681.