Get London Reading - Evening Standard Campaign

One in four children leave London's primary schools unable to read properly. This is a betrayal of our children because reading is an essential tool for life. That is why we have launched our Get London Reading campaign. We are joining forces with Volunteer Reading Help, a charity that trains ordinary adults to go into London's most deprived primary schools to provide one-on-one reading support for struggling pupils. They are a huge success. But they need more volunteers, and more donations to fund their support. We ask you to be part of the solution: volunteer today, donate today - and change lives.

Donate Today

Your money will help support children become literate for life. A donation to VRH of £500 will be matched by a school and will fund one reading volunteer to help transform the lives of three pupils for a year.

To make a donation, please enter an amount and click on the donate button which will take you to Google checkout.

Don't forget, if you're a UK taxpayer, you can Gift Aid your donation as you go through the checkout, which means for every £1 you give, VRH gets an additional 28p, at no extra cost to you!


You can also Donate by Text

FROM today you can donate to the Evening Standard's landmark Get London Reading campaign by text. Just text DONATE to 70300 to give £10 to Volunteer Reading Help. The full amount goes to the fund and you can make as many £10 donations as you want.

Terms & Conditions: 100% of your donation will go to Volunteer Reading Help (Registered Charity No. 296454). This service costs a total of £10 plus one text message at your standard network rate. After you send your keyword message you will be sent two messages at a total cost of £10. There will be a 15 minute delay between messages. Service Provider: Vir2 Ltd: or 08450 947 95

Volunteer Today

Join VRH as a volunteer and you will read one-on-one in a primary school with three children a week for a total of three hours. You will see their reading gradually improve over time. You will help them learn to love books.

Can you volunteer? What's involved?

VRH don't look for specific qualifications, but they do value the following qualities. Their reading volunteers are: patient and encouraging, good listeners, able to work at the child's pace and good communicators. In order to become a reading volunteer, VRH asks you to:


Be able to spare three hours per week (you must be able to visit a local school twice a week
for 90 minutes per visit during term time)


Commit for at least a year (you will work with the same three children for a year)


Have been resident in the UK for at least two years


Be fluent in English and a competent reader


Be happy for VRH to undertake an enhanced CRB check and be able to supply two references

If you can fulfil all five points, VRH promise you a rewarding volunteering experience with full support and training. Please click on the 'volunteer' button to go through to the VRH website to start the application process.

Volunteer now

Company schemes

VRH works with several companies in London who allow their staff time each week to volunteer in a local school. These company schemes make allowance for the fact that employees may only be able to commit to one session of 90 minutes per week. VRH provides full support and training. Their schemes run as a full partnership between VRH and your company.

To find out more, please contact Liz Bennett on 020 7729 4087 or at