UPDATE 5th December 2023: this campaign has now ended and we're thrilled to report we reached our target yesterday evening, raising a match funded total of £6,217. A huge thank you to those who donated, and shared and liked our social media posts.
At midday on Tuesday 28th November, we will be launching our annual match-funding campaign in partnership with The Big Give and Reed Educational Trust. The Big Give runs the biggest UK match-funding campaign, their annual Christmas Challenge, which has raised millions of pounds for thousands of charity projects since it first launched in 2008. For seven days, it offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled. We are delighted to have been chosen for match funding this year by Reed Educational Trust Ltd.
So why choose us to receive your donation? We are a small, local literacy charity working solely in Wandsworth. We are embedded in our local community, aiming to provide continuity of support for children from 0 to 11 years and to serve the whole family. We love to empower parents to support their children's learning at home. We look to target the greatest need and are committed to quality delivery and measuring impact.
In 2022-23 government figures show that nationally only 73% of children leaving primary school reached the expected standards in reading, down from 75% in 2021-22. Figures for Wandsworth this year showed a higher than national percentage, with 75% of children reaching the expecting standard, but a large drop from the 81% achieved in 2021-22. National Literacy Trust research also shows a 26% decrease in the number of children and young people who read daily in their free time since 2005 (38% in 2005 vs. 28% in 2023), with only just over half of children and young people reporting that they had been encouraged to read by their parents/carers and only 1 in 5 reporting they had read with their family.
The cost-of-living crisis also continues to affect the families we work with. Research from the Centre of Literacy in Primary Education shows that book ownership increases parental engagement, yet according to the National Literacy Trust, 1 in 3 parents who are struggling financially as a result of the cost-of-living crisis are buying fewer books for their children.
So the need for our work is greater than ever. Last year we dramatically increased our engagement with parents, running a total of 33 talks and workshops across Wandsworth to help parents to support their children's reading at home. We also ran 24 sets of Early Years classes for children aged 0-4, giving out more than 150 gift packs to families who attended, which included a variety of books, puzzles and activities.
All that on top of our 70 trained volunteers across eight partner schools, who spent the year directly supporting children aged between 5-8 with their reading each week.
We want to continue this work, reaching more parents in Wandsworth and helping their children learn to love to read. We want to expand our work with the 0-2 age range in our Early Years classes and we want to grow. In fact we've just taken on our ninth partner school, our first one in Battersea. But, of course expanding our reach costs. And this is why we really need your help.
Every £1 donated as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge, up to our target of £3,000, will be matched - for one week only, starting at midday on Tuesday 28th November 2023.