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Spotlight onDoorstep Library

More than one in four children leaves primary school every year unable to read to the expected standard. This has to change.

Research from the National Literacy Trust indicates that 1 in 5 children (aged 5-8) does not own a single book of their own, a figure we know is even higher among families facing economic disadvantage.  With 87% of parents saying they now have less disposable income and over 50% of parents saying that books are simply too expensive, the growing cost of living crisis is having a negative impact on child literacy.

Children who are unable to read well face many difficulties at school. And these struggles will have a devastating impact on their life chances. Doorstep Library exists to change these children’s stories. We believe in the power of words to take children places, not just in their imagination, but in their lives.

Doorstep Library is an innovative local literacy charity intent on disrupting the link between poverty and low literacy.  Our trained volunteers deliver a weekly reading and library service directly to the homes of local disadvantaged families. We run 15 in person projects in Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, Camden and Lambeth as well as our new online service.

Our projects are based on housing estates that fall within the bottom 10 – 20% of all areas in the UK on the Indices of Child Poverty. Many of these projects are just a short distance from a Dukes school.

2021-2022Impact Results

We support families for as long as our service is needed, and spend on average two years with a family.  Last year our volunteers visited over 600 local children at home reading and lending books. According to our most recent Impact Report 95% said that Doorstep Library had helped their child to read better.

OurAward-winning film

We rely on volunteers to deliver our service and are always looking for new volunteers to join our team. Our service is free for families and we rely on the generosity of organisations, schools and individuals to make our work possible. We’d love to be a partner charity at your child’s school, please do consider putting us forward.

We need your help to continue to spread the joy of reading — and its amazing benefits — to those who most need support. Watch our short award wining film here…

“Our little girl is now number one in her class for reading, we’re so proud of her.”


“They’ve been ready and waiting for you!
It’s so fantastic to have you visit.”


“At school my daughter has received a reward for reading a large number of books!
Her teachers are saying that she is so interested in lots of books now.
Thank you for coming to visit and read each week.”


“My daughter really enjoys it and gets excited when they come over and she gets to talk about her book to them.
Every time they come they are very nice and give books which suit my daughters taste.”

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