Supporting the communities on our doorstep and beyond
Pledge #2: We will support 500 local children struggling with reading by 2020
We play an active role in the communities local to each of our sites, focusing our efforts where we can make the biggest difference. We work with 9 partner primary schools near each of our six UK sites to foster a love for reading among pupils.
Our ‘volunteer readers’ are at the heart of this relationship – 63 Penguin Random House UK colleagues who read for 30 minutes each week with a child who is showing early signs of illiteracy. We aim to support 500 children in this way by 2020.
Pledge #3: We will volunteer 4,000 work days by 2020, two for every UK colleague
All our colleagues can take up to two days of paid work time each year to volunteer, whether that’s part of a company-organised activity for one of our charity partners or with a cause that is particularly close to their heart.
Pledge #4: We will donate 500,000 books to charity by 2020
We work together with selected national and local partners to ensure our book donations have the greatest positive impact.
In 2016 we donated over 39,000 books to BookAid.
Book Aid supplies brand new books donated by publishers to public, community and school libraries across 12 African countries – from prison libraries, to community libraries in rural areas, to refugee camps.
They work together with national library services, government departments and NGOs to provide training and skills development for librarians, to ensure the donated books have a truly transformative impact on local communities.
Supporting reading in prisons
Prison Reading Groups is a charity which sets up and facilitates monthly reading groups in 35 prisons across the UK. For prisoners the reading groups can be an important route to rehabilitation. They encourage empathy with the lives of others through reading; they promote critical self-reflection and mutual respect; and they help connect prisoners with the life outside the prison walls.
Each month we support 10 reading groups to choose any book from our list, providing a free copy to each member. In 2016 we donated nearly 2,500 books.
Pledge #5: We will partner our authors with charities relevant to them and their writing
Our scale and reach means we can bring individual authors together with different charities to raise money or shine a spotlight on an issue that matters to them.
Dear Stranger is a collection of inspirational, honest and heartfelt letters to an imagined stranger on the subject of happiness with all proceeds going to Mind, the UK’s mental health charity.
The letters were penned by a selection of Penguin Random House UK authors including Caitlin Moran, Richard Branson and Alain de Botton together with bloggers and Mind ambassadors.
Encouraging young people to celebrate kindness
Together with charity Anti-Bullying Pro we created Kindness Day. Inspired by bestseller Wonder by RJ Palacio, Kindness Day aims to use the book’s positive message to inspire young people to celebrate kindness during anti-bullying week.
We reached millions of people worldwide with Kindness Day 2016, asking people around the world to pledge their own acts of kindness on social media, working with celebrity ambassador Monica Lewinsky, creating free resources for schools, partnering with TOMS shoes on a book giveaway and launching a competition to find the ‘kindest school in the UK’.