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. Our Children’s Trade division is 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 in July 2019. We have been working with the NLT 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 Charitable Partnerships section below). In 2020, we made a donation of £10,000 to the NLT. These funds were put towards an emergency appeal to help and support children, parents, teachers and schools through the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Bloomsbury made its educational resources and activity ideas available as part of the NLT’s “Family Zone” website. For the second year in a row, as part of the Christmas campaign with the NLT, Bloomsbury donated 11,245 books, which were shared across 25 primary and secondary schools in Hastings in support of the NLT’s pledge to support children’s literacy and instil a love of reading from an early age. Over the year, Bloomsbury donated more than 60,000 books to the NLT, which included copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
- In 2019, Bloomsbury published Dishoom: From Bombay with Love, written by the head chef and cofounders of the successful Dishoom restaurant chain, Shamil Thakrar, Naved Nasir and Kavi Thakrar. Inspired by Dishoom’s Meal for a Meal Initiative, Bloomsbury has been donating a portion of its proceeds from book sales to Dishoom’s charity partners, Magic Breakfast (UK) and the Akshaya Patra Foundation (Mumbai), to help children in need by providing healthy breakfasts to the most vulnerable. To date, in New Delhi and London, our donations have contributed towards the provision of 269,495 meals for children living with food insecurity.
- In February 2021, our India office made a separate donation of over £5,000 to the Akshaya Patra Foundation, who work to eliminate classroom hunger, alleviate poverty and improve access to education with their midday meal scheme. The funds will be put towards providing lunch for 225 children in Government-run schools in Delhi for one year and distributing 225 “happiness kits” to poorer families affected by coronavirus. These kits contain essential items such as nutritious groceries, immunity boosters, hygiene products and learning materials.
- In response to the social deprivation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the rising levels of unemployment in the UK, Bloomsbury donated £10,000 to The Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK. Bloomsbury also matched amounts donated by staff.
- In June 2020, in response to the social justice movement which followed the killing of George Floyd and to demonstrate its commitment to playing its part in addressing issues of social inequality, Bloomsbury made a donation of $10,000 to Black Lives Matter. In July 2020, in partnership with Waterstones, Bloomsbury also donated 10% of profits from certain Waterstones’ sales of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge to the Black Training and Enterprise Group, a national charity delivering programmes for BAME people aged 11 to 30 years, and INQUEST, a charity that provides expertise on state-related deaths, and campaigns alongside families and others to access the truth, hold those responsible to account and effect meaningful change to prevent future deaths. A total of £15,704 was donated in equal amounts to each of these charities.
- We support good causes that promote literacy and literature. We are a sponsor of, and partner with, World Book Day, the most important, inclusive reading initiative in the UK, established by UNESCO to promote reading amongst children and adults. During the year, Bloomsbury made a donation of £21,000 to World Book Day. In 2020, we published Kid Normal and the Loudest Library by Greg James and Chris Smith. Greg and Chris spent World Book Day (and the day after) sharing stories with almost 1,000 children at two school events with Owl Bookshop and Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill. Bloomsbury also supported World Book Day’s “Share a Million Stories” campaign, encouraging parents and children to develop new reading behaviours by sharing stories for at least ten minutes every day. Bloomsbury was able to coordinate over 80 events with over 12,000 children in the UK and Ireland. Furthermore, as part of Bloomsbury’s partnership with the NLT, author Action Jackson lead an assembly at Hastings Academy, Hastings, motivating children to overcome mental blocks or lack of confidence that prevented children from taking pleasure in reading.
- In response to the disruption and exceptionally difficult circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic for authors, the Company made a donation of £5,000 to the Society of Authors emergency appeal fund.
- Our US office has also provided sponsorship to a number of non-profit groups involved in the promotion of literacy, human rights and the freedom of expression, including the Children’s Book Council, a charity that promotes children’s books and reading, the Center for Fiction, the only non-profit organisation in the US solely dedicated to the promotion of readers and writers of fiction, the National Coalition Against Censorship, which promotes freedom of thought and inquiry and opposes censorship, the Amy Rosenthal Foundation, a foundation which provides funding for ovarian cancer research as well as children’s literacy, and Open eBooks, which offers free eBooks to children from in-need communities. In light of coronavirus, the US office also made a donation to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which provides support to owners and employees of bookshops and booksellers with unforeseen emergency financial needs, in particular this year, arising from the pandemic.
- Our Australia office supports the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (“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 262,000 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 over 6,600 books to Book Aid International, which gives free books to institutions and organisations in 30 countries and territories around the world to support reading and literacy. Our Australia office has donated books to the Children’s Book Council of Australia, a Sydney Writers Festival programme supporting disadvantaged schools in Western Sydney, and children receiving treatment in Queensland hospitals, amongst other causes. 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.
- Bloomsbury entered into a three-year partnership with the National Literary Trust (“NLT”) in July 2019 with the mission of supporting the NLT in its efforts to overcome literacy challenges facing the residents of Hastings – identified by Ofsted as one of the country’s worst performing boroughs, and by the NLT as one of the towns in the UK with the worst literacy rates. Bloomsbury’s annual financial support helps the NLT to deliver outreach activities via schools, community centres and food banks to help children and adults of Hastings who are most in need. In addition to financial support, Bloomsbury will provide access to the skills and expertise of its staff and authors to the NLT, along with significant book gifting, competitions and promotional support. Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing social restrictions, our partnership with the NLT has involved an array of reading events based in the NLT’s Hub in Hastings, including townwide reading moments, competitions and meet-and-greet sessions with Radio 1 celebrities and Kid Normal authors, Greg James and Chris Smith
- As part of our wider goal to make a positive contribution to the environment, Bloomsbury has embarked upon a new partnership with the Woodland Trust. During the year, Bloomsbury made a donation of £15,000 to The Woodland Trust to sponsor a one acre grove at Langley Vale Wood in Epsom, Surrey which contains around 750 newly planted trees. The donation encompasses ongoing care and management of the trees planted to ensure they grow into maturity, enabling them to provide shelter and food for wildlife.
- Bloomsbury has also teamed up with Reforest’Action, which aims to preserve, restore and create forests around the world in order to develop their multiple environmental, social and economic benefits. Bloomsbury has made donations equalling £10,379 to several of their projects, planting trees around the world to actively support reforestation, increased biodiversity and carbon absorption. Bloomsbury has sponsored the preservation of over 8,900 trees in 2021 via the Reforest’Action projects Bloomsbury are sponsoring in Guinea, Peru and Indonesia.
- Our Children’s publishing division publishes books in partnership with three leading UK charities whose key focus is nature conservation and wildlife. They are the RSPB, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and The Bloomsbury that support the activities of these charities, and embed their public mission statements into the commercial world of bookselling, reaching far beyond their membership pool with titles across all age groups from three years and above. We are experts at commissioning high profile authors with excellent credentials and, in many cases, who have empathy and links with these charities. The long-term nature of our commitment to these collaborations is evident in our relationship with the RSPB. It now spans a decade, with sales of over 750,000 units and includes nearly 30 successful books that remain perennial favourites, reprinting year-on-year. A royalty is paid to the relevant charity for each book sold and over the year, sales raised a total sum of £59,708
- Our Education publishing division has worked with Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility and former CEO of the Sutton Trust, and Steve Higgins, Professor of Education, to publish What Works? based on the findings of the EEF-Sutton Trust Teaching and Learning Toolkit. This research helps schools to promote social mobility and improve the life chances of those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage.
- Bloomsbury also works closely with EmpathyLab, which is the first organisation to build children’s empathy, literacy and social activism through a systematic use of highquality literature. The strategy builds on new scientific evidence showing the power of reading to build real life empathy skills. Working closely with this charity and many of our authors, we ensure that children and the books they read support the teaching of empathy.
- Bloomsbury’s Chief Executive is President of Book Aid International which gives approximately 1,000,000 books a year to public libraries, community libraries, schools, universities, refugee camps, hospitals and prisons worldwide.