Match Funding Deadline Looms for Local Charity

Learn to Love to Read taking part in The Big Give

Rosie and Flo learning to love to read The Snowman
Rosie and Flo learning to love to read The Snowman

December 2, 2022

A charity which aims to encourage reading for children which is based on Wimbledon Park Road in Southfields has launched its Christmas appeal

Learn to Love to Read is taking part in its first ever match-funding campaign in partnership with The Big Give and The Childhood Trust but time is running out to have your donation double under its participation in the scheme.

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. Learn to Love to Read has been chosen for match funding by The Childhood Trust, London’s child poverty charity.

Learn to Love to Read is a small, local literacy charity working solely in Wandsworth embedded in the local community It aims to provide continuity of support for children from 0 to 11 years and to serve the whole family encouraging parents to support their children's learning at home. It looks to target the greatest need and is committed to quality delivery and measuring impact.

At the end of the last academic year, Government statistics show that 33% of Year 2 pupils did not meet the expected standard in reading, up from 25% in 2019 when tests were last carried out. A recent survey by the National Literacy Trust found that only just over half (52.4%) of children aged 5 to 8 read at home daily, while 1 in 13 (7.7%) say they never read at home at all. And that same survey found that 1 in 4 children aged 5 to 8 (24.6%) don’t enjoy reading. COVID-19 and interruptions to schooling have brought enormous challenges for children, and those gaps will be even greater for children from disadvantaged families.

Commenting on a recent piece of research about cost of living increases, Barnardo’s Project Manager Sharon McCormick said, ‘The majority of Barnardo’s staff are reporting that the increases are having a substantially negative affect on the health and wellbeing of the children we are supporting. Staff are witnessing families going without and cutting back, being forced to choose between having the heating and electricity on and having food in their cupboards. Children in those households are at risk of living in cold homes and going hungry, and parents who are living in a state of worry or distress may have less capacity to concentrate on parenting.’

A spokesperson for Learn to Love to Read said, “Books and language-enhancing activities will be far down the priority list when parents are choosing between heating and food. And stress and worry mean parents will struggle to spend time with their children supporting their literacy and ongoing learning. And, as is so often the case, the more disadvantaged the family, the more impact this will have.

“So the need for our work is greater than ever, and for this reason we have increased our activities and our staffing – we now have six part-time staff - with the aim of helping more children learn to love to read. But, of course, greater capacity means higher costs. And this is why we really need your help. “

Every £1 donated as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge, up to the target of £5,000, will be matched - for one week only, ending at midday on Tuesday 6 December.

Click this link during the Christmas Challenge week if you would like to donate and support the charity’s work.

If you would like to support their work or hear more about joining the volunteer team, check out its website

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