Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for March 22nd, 2018

25 Years of the National Literary Trust

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 22nd March, 2018

gruffaloLast night I was at the Plaisterers’ Hall in the City for a fundraising dinner celebrating the 25th anniversary of the National Literary Trust. This is an independent charity working with schools and communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills to succeed in life. It’s a shaming part that in some of the poorest parts of Britain hundreds of thousands of primary school children are unable to read or write, which severely handicaps their chances in later life. Parents and the home learning environment have the greatest effect on how a child develops language and literacy skills. So much of the work done by the Trust focuses there. The charity’s Patron is the Duchess of Cornwall, who gave a short unscripted speech last night, and was joined by three dozen successful writers, including Tony Bradman, Chair of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), on whose table I sat. My own engagement with the National Literary Trust has been through the Ruth Rendell Award for the promotion of literacy, as I have been one of the judges choosing the winner in the first two years of the award’s existence. As one might expect from the location, there were a lot of financial high-flyers at the dinner last night and with the help of an auction including pictures of the Gruffalo drawn on the spot by Axel Sheffler, £175,000 was raised.


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