Our work

Why we’re needed

Comprehensive studies have shown that the UK is one of the most unforgiving countries in the developed world when it comes to the literacy of economically disadvantaged families.

Here, how well you read has a direct bearing on how well you do in life. For various reasons, children from the poorest families are less likely to have books, less likely to read with their parents and less likely to read for pleasure. Not only are they more likely to fall behind in their studies as a result, they fall behind in their lives. Amongst developed nations, it is the UK that shows the clearest link between poor literacy and unemployment. For most youngsters there is no way back, because much of what support there is doesn’t reach its target. We leave our most vulnerable children behind. For further details see “Difficult reading?” (below), where you can download reports and read extracts from several studies.

Doorstep Library exists to help as many of these vulnerable families as we can. We believe in the power of words to take children places, not just in their imagination, but in their lives. We want to see a world where all children can thrive in homes in which books are celebrated and a love of reading is embraced.

“To be literate is to become liberated from the constraints of dependency. To be literate is to gain self-confidence. To be literate is to become self-assertive. Literacy provides access to written knowledge – and knowledge is power. In a nutshell, literacy empowers.”
Kassam, Y. (1994). Who benefits from illiteracy? Literacy and empowerment.

“Difficult reading?” – startling facts

Here you will find links to or PDFs of several reports which lay out the true state of child literacy in our country, and its devastating effects both on individuals and the nation. We pick out several key quotes and facts below.