Giving the gift of reading


From our charity partner this year, Coram Beanstalk: How giving the gift of reading can help to further Dickens’ vision for a fairer society

We strongly believe that the key to helping children read well and confidently is to create a positive experience around books and reading for them. This is what forms the basis of what we do, matching reading helpers in schools to support children on a one-to-one basis to become readers for life.

Many of the children we support may not have many books at home, or, in some cases, any at all.

We want to ensure that all children have the opportunities to discover books that they can enjoy and be inspired by. Reading opens doors to new worlds for children to explore and can help them form their own opinions and ideas. This can empower children and set them up for success.

Our charity, Coram Beanstalk, recruits, trains and supports volunteers across London and beyond to provide one-to-one reading support in primary schools and early years settings.  Our trained reading helpers support children aged 3–13 in a variety of ways, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers. We also provide training to people within the school community who want to help children learn to read for pleasure whilst improving their reading skills.

To be chosen as the beneficiary of The Old Vic’s bucket collections at each production of A Christmas Carol holds special meaning for us. Charles Dickens himself was appalled by child poverty, highlighting it through his works as well as campaigning against social injustice. He supported Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital for abandoned and destitute children. He was so moved by the stories of the children helped by Coram that he raised funds and wrote about the home in some of his most famous works. Today, as a member of the Coram family of charities, Beanstalk helps to continue the legacy Thomas Coram and Charles Dickens left behind, working to create a fairer society.

Many charities will face increased demand for their services during the festive period and we are so thankful for partnerships such as this, bringing so much goodwill and generosity at a time when it is really needed. Supporting Coram Beanstalk means helping to give a gift that will last a lifetime and with each and every donation we aim to ensure more children have access to brilliant books and the support they need to develop a lifelong love of reading.

Without generosity and support from our partners, donors and the time given by our volunteers, so many children would not get the help they need to become confident readers. We must continue our work if we are to help close the literacy gap and prevent children from falling behind their peers and risking their life chances.

We are extremely grateful to the audiences who have given so generously to Coram Beanstalk so far. Giving children time to read, to share stories and to be inspired by them transforms lives, it opens doors and it enables our children to thrive and fulfil their potential.

Thank you

Ginny Lunn
Managing Director at Coram Beanstalk