Engagement outside Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury has a significant direct beneficial impact on the community through its activities. Our publishing teams share a common passion for promoting the enjoyment of reading and high-quality literature that is often cutting edge and provides new authors with opportunities to establish themselves. We have a substantial Children's division focused on promoting literacy for young readers of all abilities and ages, including specialist ranges for "Hi-Low" pupils (high age, low attainment) which provide parents and teachers with the tools needed to engage their children in reading.
In addition to our direct commercial activities and with a focus mainly on promoting literature, literacy and education, we actively support numerous organisations worldwide including schools, universities, libraries and other good causes and charities. We also encourage the spare time involvement of staff worldwide in supporting good causes and in the promotion of literature, literacy and education. These voluntary activities by employees are often directly or indirectly assisted by the business and by Bloomsbury colleagues. The following examples illustrate the range of Bloomsbury's support and support by its employees for good causes worldwide:
- Bloomsbury has adopted the National Literacy Trust ("NLT"), a charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed and to improving reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK's poorest communities, as its house charity. This year, reflecting the Company's strong profit performance, we have made a donation of £10,000 to the NLT and will work with them to support activities aimed at developing literacy in Hastings, one of the ten worst cities in the UK for adult and child working class literacy (more information about Bloomsbury's support of the NLT is set out in the Corporate Volunteering section below).
- A further sum of £12,457 has been set aside for donations to appropriate organisations in the US, Australia and India, the beneficiaries of which will be chosen over the coming months.
- In August 2018 Bloomsbury published Sea Prayer, a powerful book by Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis. By donating £1 per every copy sold to UNHCR - the UN refugee agency - Bloomsbury has raised over £100,000 in support of UNHCR's activities caring for refugees around the world.
- We support good causes that promote literacy and literature, e.g. we are a sponsor and partner with World Book Day, which was established by UNESCO to promote reading amongst children and adults, and our US office has provided sponsorship to a number of non-profit groups involved in the promotion of literacy, human rights and the freedom of expression, including PEN America, The Center for Fiction, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and Literacy Partners.
- Our Australian office supports the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (the national charity of the Australian Book Industry which aims to address the literacy gap arising in remote indigenous communities across Australia and reduce the disadvantage experienced by children in such communities across Australia) ("ILF") with fundraising and time given for administrative support. During the year Bloomsbury's Australia office made a modest donation to ILF, to match funds donated by Bloomsbury employees.
- Our US, UK and Australia offices donate, or provide at a reduced cost, a substantial quantity of books and games each year, which includes donations of mainstream titles to schools, libraries and organisations supporting education, e.g. our US office donated over 300,000 children's books to the Soho Center that promotes quality childcare nationally with a special focus on children's literacy, school readiness, and school success and our UK office donated 20,000 educational books to Book Aid International. Our Australia office has donated books to the Children's Book Council of Australia. Other donations of books and Osprey games worldwide have been to good causes not related to literature and education such as Barnardo's, Oxfam, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and smaller organisations local to our offices worldwide.
- The Bloomsbury Institute (Bloomsbury's own public events series) has organised events to support the Book Aid International, Womankind, British Dyslexia Association and Mothers2Mothers charities. It also regularly hosts collaborative events that involve donating a portion of profits to both established and emerging literary organisations and their patrons. For example, in 2018, the Institute held sold-out events in collaboration with the London Library and Cambridge University Libraries.
Corporate volunteering and educational development
- As stated in the Corporate Donating Section, Bloomsbury has adopted the NLT as its house charity and will work with the NLT to support outreach activities aimed at improving literacy in Hastings in support of the NLT's Get Hasting Reading initiative. We hope to send up to one hundred Bloomsbury colleagues to Hastings for a day to volunteer with local schools and libraries. Bloomsbury authors Greg James and Chris Smith (authors of Kid Normal) have recently participated at a book event in Hastings to which children throughout Hastings were invited, and we plan to arrange many further author events in the future to support the Get Hastings Reading initiative.
- We have sponsored achievement prizes for students within US and UK universities, invite students to visit us for presentations on working in publishing and support careers fairs for students to promote publishing as a career.
- Bloomsbury's Chief Executive is President of Book Aid International that gifts approximately 500,000 books a year to libraries in Africa.
- Jonathan Glasspool, one of Bloomsbury's Executive Directors, is Senior Independent Governor at Bath Spa University, as well as Chair of Federation of British Arts. Both organisations have a substantial education remit in the creative arts.