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Charity (no. 1158197)

Doorstep Library

"Instilling love of reading in children & improving potential by providing books in the home."

Who We Help, Why We Help & the Difference It Makes

How well you read has a direct bearing on how well you do in life. For various reasons, children from disadvantaged areas are less likely to have books, less likely to read with their parents and less likely to read for pleasure. Not only are they more likely to fall behind in their studies as a result, but they also fall behind in their lives. 

Amongst developed nations, it is the UK that shows the clearest link between poor literacy and unemployment. For most youngsters, there is no way back, because much of what support there is doesn’t reach its target. We leave our most vulnerable children behind.

Doorstep Library exists to help as many of these vulnerable families as we can. We believe in the power of words to take children places, not just in their imagination, but in their lives. We want to see a world where all children can thrive in homes in which books are celebrated and a love of reading is embraced.

We currently run 12 Doorstep Libraries across Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster & Lambeth.

Our Services Are

Free Low Cost Subsidised Charged Donation Appreciated

What Would You Like Now?

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We recruit and train volunteers to go into the homes of families living in London and introduce their children, from ages 0-11 to the pleasure of reading and inspire them with it.

Volunteers work in pairs, carrying a backpack full of books, and small stools to sit on. We visit each family once a week during term-time, read stories with the children and lend them books to exchange when we return the following week. We emphasise the fun element and use the power of stories to let the children generate their own interest.

We also engage with parents to show how important (and easy) it is for them to spend time reading with their children and take an active part in their education. In addition, we develop strong links with family support agencies in order to ‘signpost’ to families what is on offer in their community in terms of events and facilities.

Additional Information

At present, we visit over 500 children from 220 families each week, with more than 100 Home Reading Volunteers lending out some 15,000 books in 2016 alone.

This is still just a tiny percentage of the families that could benefit from our projects, and our aim is to keep growing in a way that helps the greatest number of children.

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