The Big Give – Champions For Children

1st June 2023

Improving children’s life chances through reading

Reading creates transformational opportunities. It empowers young people to create the future they deserve by developing the skills they need to be able to reach their full potential. Fighting inequality in education since 2010, we bring the gift of books and the joy of reading directly into homes.

The Childhood Trust’s ‘Champions for Children advocacy campaign’, will be their first campaign with their new 2023 – 2026 impact strategy, Prepared for LifeThis new strategy will provide support for children across four key priority areas:

  • Physical Health
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Home & Community Environment
  • Learning & Work Readiness

With your help, we will be able to bring the joy of reading to even more children. During this week, any donation you make via The Big Give campaign will be matched up to £60,000.  So every £10 you donate, will be £20 given to support Doorstep Library’s work.


Campaign overview


Low literacy carries life-long implications. For many children and young people accessing reading books, outside the classroom, is not so easy to come by. 1 in 5 children in the UK don’t own a single book and almost 25% of 11-year-olds in the UK’s poorest families have fewer than 10 books in their home. The cost-of-living crisis is dramatically increasing levels of poverty in the country and could further harm literacy levels.


Our approach is straightforward, intensive and effective. Our reading volunteers arrive on the doorstep or online with books for children – and read with them. We encourage parents to join in. Spending on average 2+ years with a family. We build a foundation for enthusiastic reading from childhood. Children who read well at home will go on to read well at school. We give the poorest and most disadvantaged children a hand up – at the start when it counts – every story read is a story changed.

“I would like to express my gratitude to say how grateful I am for Doorstep Library as it really encouraged my children to read books therefore increasing their English grade.”

— Doorstep Library Parent


  • To run shared reading sessions with children in London (working with at least 900 children). These sessions aim to inspire a love of reading and they also help to dramatically improve children’s reading ability. They help build a foundation for wider learning. Parents will be encouraged to join in.
  • To recruit and train more reading volunteers to deliver the service, meeting the needs of children on our waiting lists.
  • To signpost beneficial services and activities to families, ensuring they are better connected and supported by their local communities.

Campaign budget

  • £30,000 – Running home-based reading sessions and lending books, instilling a love of reading for pleasure.
  • £30,000 – Running online reading sessions and gifting books, instilling a love of reading for pleasure.

Understanding the budget

If we don’t reach our target will continue to fundraise in our normal way, obtaining grants from trusts and foundations, and reaching out to individuals and companies. Our aim of working with more children will still go ahead, but we may need to postpone some aspects depending on how much of the target is raised. Any excess funds will go towards recruiting additional volunteers and exceeding targets set to match more volunteers and families for reading sessions.


Our 2021-22 Impact Report demonstrates how effective our reading sessions are in levelling the playing field for families and children in London’s most deprived communities:

  • 95% of parents/carers said Doorstep Library has helped their children to read better
  • 87% of parents/carers said Doorstep Library has encouraged them to spend more time reading with their children
  • 86% of parents/carers found the community services and activities we signposted to be useful and interesting.


We will measure our impact not only in terms of the number of children and families we work with but also by getting their views and feedback on our service. We consistently evaluate and improve projects through quantitative and qualitative feedback and use a bespoke database for reporting on a weekly basis on all visits and online interactions. We also survey children, parents and volunteers on how they feel about our visits and the difference these make (as well as how they could be improved).