On World Book Day 2020, Wates Construction has announced a partnership with the Children’s Book Project, installing a pilot donation point in London on the hoarding of its Borough Yards development.
The initiative, which enables passers-by to deposit books their children have outgrown, has already received hundreds of donations in the first weeks.
A quarter of disadvantaged UK children have access to fewer than 10 books, so Wates hopes the project could eventually grow nationally to tackle this book gap and help develop literacy levels across the UK, following the pilot.
Books received on Wates’ Borough Yards site will be cleaned, sorted and then redistributed via selected teacher and school networks across London.
Ross Wilson, Project Director at the Borough Yards development, comments: “I’m really passionate about education and it’s shocking to see the stats that there is a ten-month difference in the language development of 11 year old children from ‘book rich homes’ compared to their less-privileged school friends.
“As a leading education contractor, having built dozens of schools across the UK, we think this initiative will be a great way to make the most of the hoardings surrounding our developments, doing our bit to help overcome book-poverty. It’ll enable passers-by to donate books their children have outgrown, putting those inspirational stories directly into other children’s hands.”
Ran Holst, Chair and Trustee from the Children’s Book Project comments: “A heartfelt thank you to the Wates Group for embracing this partnership and helping us to put a million books into children’s bedroom over the 3 years. Stories bring so much pleasure, they widen our world and help us to dream.”
"A heartfelt thank you to the Wates Group for embracing this partnership and helping us to put a million books into childrens bedroom over the 3 years."
Ran Holst, Chair, Trustee, Childrens Book Project