Working together to inspire the next generation of readers

One in four children across the UK leave primary school without the skills to be able to read well, whilst 5.1 million adults are functionally illiterate.

In 2019 McCarthy & Stone will be supporting the national children's reading charity, Beanstalk, to help change these statistics and ensure that no child is left behind because of poor literacy. The partnership aims to raise more than £100,000 for Beanstalk as well as encouraging homeowners and employees to become volunteer reading helpers themselves. Together we will inspire the next generation of readers!

If you are a McCarthy & Stone employee or homeowner, keep reading to learn how to get involved...

Fundraise for us!

Help raise vital funds for Beanstalk by taking part in one of our key events or get together with friends or colleagues and organise your own. Download our fundraising pack for details of events and easy fundraising ideas, or simply fill in this expression of interest form to let us know what you are interested in and Beanstalk's fundraising team will be in touch to provide you with everything you need to get started.

All funds raised go through the McCarthy & Stone Just Giving page, which you will have to register for. Advice on how to register can be found in this handy guide

World Book Day Book Swap (7th March)

We can think of no better way to celebrate World Book Day this year on 7th March than a mammoth book swap!  Gather a group of colleagues, fellow homeowner’s, friends and family, pick a name from a hat and pass on one of your favourite books from your own collection. We ask everyone taking part to donate £5, which is what it costs Beanstalk to provide one book from its Starter Pack of expertly selected books to a school receiving support.  

Recycling your favourite book is the perfect way to celebrate World Book Day and to give something thoughtful to a colleague or friend. Throw in an epic Bake Sale and you’ve got yourself a (book) party!  

Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge (4th May)

Take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge this summer. A demanding 24 mile hike over the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. These peaks form part of the stunning Pennine range, and encircle the head of the Ribble Valley in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This challenge is being exclusively run for McCarthy and Stone homeowners and employees who will be accompanied by experienced North East Guides 

Registration fee: £20 Fundraising target: £350 Participant places: up to 50 

The Royal Parks Half Marathon (13th October)

Whether you’ve run more half marathons than you can count or it’s your first time, running the Royal Parks Half Marathon is sure to be a memorable experience. The picturesque route takes you through four of London's Royal Parks - Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park and The Green Park. 

Runners will pass historic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and the Royal Albert Hall. We will be there cheering you on and helping you get a across the finish line!  

Registration fee: £20 Fundraising target: £350 Participant places: up to 5 

Literary Laughs Christmas Quiz (December)

In partnership with our friends at Literary Laughs ( , this ready-made festive quiz event is sure to get your literary juices flowing! Book a venue, secure some prizes, charge an entry fee (eg. £20 per head) and throw a party as big or as small as you feel comfortable with. The Literary Laughs team will send the literary quizzes for your party to enjoy and you can be part of the Literary Laughs Book Club Awards.  

Date: 5th December 2019 (or any date in December thereafter but not before).

Beanstalk Beanie Day (3rd December)

To celebrate Giving Tuesday, taking place this year on Tuesday 3rd December we are asking all McCarthy and Stone homeowners and employees to don your favourite festive ‘beanie’ hat and donate £2 (or more if you’re feeling really festive!). It’s simple; wear, donate and tweet a photo to share the love and giving spirit! As the winter cold begins to creep in, it’s the perfect time to dig out your woollies and to start getting in the festive spirit!   

Organise your own Beanstalk event!

We can support you to plan your own events, such as sponsored readathons, cake sales or running literary-themed quiz nights. These can be open to employees, home-owners, friends and family.  

Fundraising toolkit

Event poster

Fundraising poster 

Gift aid form

Sponsorship form

Donation form

Offline fundraising form

What your donations mean to us:

• £7 could provide one week’s worth of literacy support to a child
• £30 could provide one month’s literacy support to a child
• £60 could provide on term’s worth of literacy support to a child
• £100 could provide a Starter Pack of 20 books for a school
• £189 could provide an entire year’s worth of literacy support to a child

Volunteer with us!

Beanstalk can offer a range of volunteering opportunities for different time commitments and interests. An overview of these opportunities is provided below.

For further detail, please download the Volunteering FAQs.

All those interested in volunteering should fill in this expression of interest form to let us know their location and what opportunity they are interested in. 

Please note:  the partnership will only launch volunteer opportunities in selected locations where we receive the greatest interest from employees and homeowners. This is because Beanstalk is only able to deliver training to groups of volunteers at a time. It will also ensure that the charity can resource and facilitate sourcing and supporting school placements for those volunteers. We will do our best to support those who want to volunteer to do so but it might not be possible for us to facilitate this for everyone. 

Regular volunteering

Reading 321 (Primary School) and Story Starters (Early Years)

What is it? Each volunteer is provided with one day’s training, placed in an education setting and supports three children for 30 or 20 minute one-to-one sessions twice a week for a full academic year. You can volunteer to support children in primary school or in early years settings. Each volunteer commits to 3 hours a week excluding travel time to and from the school.
Who’s it for? McCarthy and Stone homeowners who are keen to get involved in their school community and support children with their reading levels and confidence.
What is the time commitment? A one-day training course followed by 3 hours a week during term time for at least one full academic year.

One-Day Volunteering - Story Readers

What is it? A one-day volunteering experience. In the morning you will engage in a fun and informative workshop with Beanstalk, helping you learn how to get the best out of books and shared reading with children. In the afternoon you’ll put your new-found skills to the test, travelling to a nearby school and reading with a class of children.
Who’s it for? This is ideal for a group of employees or homeowners who are not able to commit regular time to volunteering but want to learn more about Beanstalk as well as gain evidenced-based tips in shared reading to use with your own children or grandchildren!
What is the time commitment? One day (9:30am – 3pm)
How many people can take part? 7 – 15 people

Is there regular volunteering available for McCarthy and Stone employees? We know those who work full-time may not be able to commit as much as three hours a week. This means employees can volunteer for a minimum of 30 minutes a week to support one child for the full academic year. Alternatively, employees can take part in a one-day volunteering opportunity called Story Readers (see above).

If you want more information then please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected] or fill in an expression of interest form for both fundraising and volunteering.