Funding update 20 January 2011
'I wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update on the funding situation for our bookgifting programmes.
As you will know, on Boxing Day I agreed a joint statement with the Department for Education. In the statement, the Department pledged to provide some level of funding to ensure that every child can continue to enjoy the gift of books at crucial moments in their lives, whilst also developing an even more effective way of supporting the most disadvantaged families on their reading journey.
We have now begun discussions with the Department about what these programmes might look like and I hope that we will shortly be in a position to announce further funding which will enable the vital work of our bookgifting programmes to continue. In recent days I have also met with our publisher partners who have committed to continue their hugely generous support in kind, which enables us to deliver our programmes in such a cost-effective way.
Since we heard the news on December 17 that we were to lose funding for Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up, we have been overwhelmed by the level of support from parents, library staff, health visitors, teachers, authors and many others. This has not only been a huge boost to everyone at Book Trust but it has also, I believe, been instrumental in persuading Michael Gove and the Department for Education of the immense value and popularity of Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up and reading for pleasure.
A heartfelt thank you from Book Trust for all the private - and public - messages of support we have received.'
Viv Bird (20 January 2011)