Fighting poverty with literacy

Children reading

The Scottish Book Trust marks its 21st anniversary by launching a campaign to fight poverty

26th August 2019 by Yasmin Hackett 0 Comments

The Scottish Book Trust is celebrating its 21st anniversary – and to mark it, the charity has launched a fundraising campaign to provide crucial support to struggling families.

Called Scottish Book Trust 21, it will appeal to donors to give £21 per month, which will be put toward helping alleviate the effects of poverty.

For many children and families in Scotland, books supplied by Scottish Book Trust will be the only ones in their home.

It is hoped that this campaign will bring books to life for children in care, support families living in challenging social circumstances and reduce social isolation through sharing stories.

The trust recently commissioned a survey to find out how significant reading is amongst Scottish families.

It revealed that in Scotland, under a third of parents (31%) read to their children every day. The research also showed a direct, positive link between reading and mental well-being, with 83% of respondents agreeing that reading reduces symptoms of stress and anxiety, increasing to 94% when reading daily.

More broadly it is believed that reading can improve employment chances, social skills, and family bonding. It can also help in developing language skills and improve academic performance in school.

Marc Lambert, chief executive of the Scottish Book Trust, said: “Reading and writing are fundamental life skills and without these we simply cannot break the poverty cycle. Books are so much more than a story.

"The benefits of reading for pleasure can significantly alleviate many of the effects of living in poverty, but those living in deprivation or difficult circumstances are far less likely to have access to books or opportunities to read and be read to.

"As poverty in Scotland continues to increase, we need vital support to reach more vulnerable adults, children and families to help improve their life chances.”