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Who are the National Literacy Trust?

The National Literacy trust aim to equip disadvantaged children from the UK’s poorest communities with literacy skills they need to break the cycle of poverty, get a job and be successful for employment and life. They help to transform lives through literacy by establishing literacy projects in the poorest communities. Their ‘Literacy Hubs’ inspire and support children and families to improve their literacy skills and they campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents.

Did you know?

  • There are 1.8 million disadvantaged children in the UK who are unable to read properly
  • In the UK, low literacy is more strongly related to poverty than in any other European country, apart from Romania
  • 1 in 6 adults in the UK have reading levels below that expected of an 11-year-old
  • Last year 28% of children left primary school unable to read properly, raising to 44% of disadvantaged children
  • 1 in 8 disadvantaged children in the UK don’t have a single book of their own

How were they selected as Chiltern’s Charity Partner?


Since 2018 we have worked with the charity Mind and raised over £40,000 for their work supporting people experiencing mental health problems. We have taken a different approach to selecting our charity partner this year. Rather than a ‘charity of the year’, we have decided to partner for the long-term to build a deeper relationship with a charity and embed this in everything we do. We have been developing the links with the National Literacy Trust through Arriva’s Society and Community Improvement Network and believe this organisation is the perfect fit for Chiltern Railways.

With strong connections to literacy and storytelling along our route, such as the Roald Dahl museum in Great Missenden, the Birthplace of Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon and the Story Museum in Oxford, we felt this work was a perfect fit for us. We also felt that showing disadvantaged children the many career opportunities the railway has to offer would be a unique and valuable contribution, allowing us to inspire the next generation.