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WHSmith Trust

The WHSmith Group Charitable Trust

The WHSmith Group Charitable Trust is an independent registered charity (registered charity no. 1013782) that works to support local charities in communities across the UK, and to promote literacy and a love of reading.

The Trust has two principal objectives which focus its activities:

• To support the local communities in which WHSmith staff and customers live and work; and
• To support education and lifelong learning, helping people of any age to achieve their educational potential.

Supporting local charities across the UK

We encourage our employees to be actively involved in their local communities and many of our staff fundraise or volunteer their time for charities, community groups and other local good causes. To support and encourage staff involvement, the Trust matches employee fundraising and volunteering. During the Trusts’ 2017 financial year, it made 60 grants as part of the programme, worth over £30,000 in total.

These grants go to match employee fundraising for charities our staff feel passionate about. These include small local charities such as hospices, playgroups, Scout and Brownie packs, as well as big national campaigns such as Save the Children, Help for Heroes, the British Heart Foundation and the National Autistic Society.

The Trust also recognises the time that employees spend volunteering for charities and matches the value of the time they spend. This may be time spent volunteering for a local care centre, for example, or the time many of our employees spend volunteering in local schools. The Trust also makes grants to employees who are members of a school parent-teacher association or Board of Governors.

Promoting a love of reading

The bulk of our grant funding goes towards projects to promote literacy, working in partnership with WHSmith PLC and the National Literacy Trust. Research findings show that children who read for pleasure have significantly better life chances than those who don’t. We are proud that over 50,000 children have taken part in our literacy projects since 2010. Each year, we make donations to hundreds of schools across the UK to enable them to improve their library facilities. In addition, we have been working in partnership with the National Literacy Trust since 2005 delivering projects to promote a love of reading, working in schools where many of the children struggle with their reading.