London Book Fair announces Royal Voluntary Service as their charity of the year


Updated 4 March 2020

Reed Exhibitions has today announced that The London Book Fair 2020, scheduled to take place at Olympia, London, from 10 to 12 March will be cancelled following the escalation of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Europe.

Charity ensuring older people have access to books to be honoured at The London Book Fair Royal Voluntary Service has been named The London Book Fair (LBF) Charity of the Year 2020. Aiming to inspire and enable people to give the gift of voluntary service, Royal Voluntary Service works to alleviate isolation and loneliness among the elderly with a number of initiatives in the community and NHS, including its Home Library Service. The Home Library Service ensures that those who are unable to get to their local library can still enjoy the pleasure of reading or listening to books. Volunteers work with nineteen library services across the country to select reading materials based on clients’ tastes and preferences, and these are delivered in person, ensuring regular visits from a friendly and familiar face to those who may otherwise have limited social interactions. Jacks Thomas, Director at The London Book Fair, said: “The RVS Home Library Service makes books readily available to those who cannot easily access bookshops or libraries, which is surely the most fantastic initiative in itself. However, the Home Library Service does so much more than simply to deliver books; they enable the pleasure and companionship that books offer to those for whom libraries and bookshops have become inaccessible. This fabulous service demonstrates very powerfully just what an important – and enduring – role books play across our lives. As the seventh London Book Fair Charity of the Year, it is a privilege to offer the Royal Voluntary Service Home Library Service a platform from which to share their work at LBF2020.” Anna Foley, Regional Partnerships Manager at Royal Voluntary Service, commented: “We are incredibly grateful and honoured to be named The London Book Fair Charity of the Year 2020. As well as ensuring readers can continue to enjoy their love of literature, our Home Library Service volunteers offer a lifeline to the older people they support; a friendly, familiar face regularly visiting people whose mobility and social interaction are limited. Thanks to the exhibition space and marketing support from LBF, we are confident more people will be inspired to support our work.” As Charity of the Year 2020, Royal Voluntary Service will be given an exhibition space at LBF in March, in addition to receiving extensive marketing support before and during the event. LBF will also provide the charity with year-long promotion on its website, and online opportunities for fundraising and awareness. The London Book Fair has supported many and varied book-related charities as long as the Fair has been running. LBF selects one charity or charitable initiative per year, with any UK charity related to books, reading and the literacy-focused non-profit community being eligible. In 2019, BAFTA Kids Roadshow with Place2Be was Charity of the Year: a programme of events and initiatives offering families across the UK access to workshops and masterclasses with BAFTA-winning talent. In partnership with children’s mental health charity Place2Be, the BAFTA Kids Roadshow takes the world of film, games and television directly into schools that benefit from Place2Be’s mental health support work. During their year of Charity Partner of The London Book Fair, BAFTA Kids Roadshow with Place2Be exhibited at LBF 2019 and built relationships with numerous publishers and authors. They received extensive marketing support, fundraising. Through connections made at LBF there will be more author and publisher events at schools in the UK. Other previous LBF Charities of the Year include: The Kittiwake Trust, Worldreader, First Story, BookTrust and Book Aid International.

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