7th June 2016 

On Monday 6th June nearly 200 people attended the Beanstalk Ball at the May Fair Hotel to help reduce child illiteracy in England. The event, sponsored by the estate agents Purplebricks, was a huge success and raised over £118,000 in aid of Beanstalk, a national children’s literacy charity.

The event featured Beanstalk-supported children being interviewed by Peter Snow, the veteran TV journalist and presenter, a poetry recital by children’s author David Harmer, and a live auction of gifts which included a limited-edition, hand-signed, print of Muhammed Ali.

The money raised at the Beanstalk Ball will go towards providing the one-to-one support needed to ensure that no child leaves school unable to read well. Last year, over 63,000 children across England left school unable to read to the required level. Beanstalk recruits, trains and supports volunteer reading helpers to provide one-to-one literacy support to children like these who have fallen behind with their reading. 

Ginny Lunn, Beanstalk’s CEO said:

  • “I’d like to thank everyone who joined us at the Beanstalk Ball and showed their support, they’ve played a leading role in helping to ensure that every child is able to reach their true potential.”
  • “Far too many children leave primary school unable to well, so it’s great to see so much support for Beanstalk and to ensure that every child is able to read ably and confidently. As a Beanstalk reading helper myself, I know the difference which one-to-one support can make to a child’s life. ”

Michael Bruce, CEO of Purplebricks said:

  • “We are delighted to be involved with Beanstalk. The work they do is truly inspiring and makes a huge difference to thousands of people. It’s easy to take the ability to read for granted and yet for many it is a major inhibitor to them being able to realise their potential. We look forward to helping to recruit volunteers and continuing our relationship with Beanstalk into the future” 

Beanstalk is a national charity that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading ability and confidence. Beanstalk’s reading helpers each work with – on average – three children, seeing each child for two 30 minutes sessions a week, during term-time, for three whole terms. Together they read, play and talk, helping make reading fun and to build the child’s confidence. Last year Beanstalk supported approximately 10,000 children through nearly 3,000 reading helpers across the country. 

To find out how you can support Beanstalk and help end low literacy in children, visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk or call 020 7729 4087.


Notes to editors:

  1. Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. Beanstalk's vision is that all children and young people have the essential skills they need to grow up and lead successful lives. To find out how to volunteer, visit beanstalkcharity.org.ukor call 020 7729 4087.
  2. Each Beanstalk reading helper works with three children and sees each child for two 30 minute sessions a week, during term-time, for a whole year. Together, they read, play and talk. With Beanstalk's support the child's approach to learning and enjoying reading is often transformed.
  3. Beanstalk works in areas of deprivation across England in the North, Midlands, Somerset, Greater London and Kent.
  4. Beanstalk was founded in 1973 as Volunteer Reading Help by Susan Belgrave MBE, Beanstalk’s President. 
  5. Sources for statistics are available on request.

Further information:

Contact Tom Rippon on 020 7729 4087; 07817 030346; [email protected]

Photos from the Beanstalk Ball are available on request. Please contact [email protected]