In November 2023, Scottish Book Trust launched our Christmas appeal with The Herald, asking readers like you to help us bring the magic of books to families across Scotland over the festive period. Since then, we’ve been overwhelmed by your incredible generosity and support. Over 35,000 brand-new books have already been gifted to children and families through food banks, hospitals and community spaces, with more being distributed throughout the winter.

Ever-widening inequality and poverty, worsened by the recent cost-of-living crisis, mean that more and more children in Scotland are growing up without adequate access to books. The impact of this is enormous and lasts a lifetime.

Children who are given the time and resources to become readers benefit from greater opportunities, a better grasp on language, improved self-esteem and empathy as well as increased attainment. Inequality in access to books means some children get a huge head start on others before even starting school. With libraries closing and many families facing financial difficulties, this gap continues to widen.

READ MORE: The Herald Christmas appeal

At Scottish Book Trust, we believe that reading and writing can change lives and improve life chances. Thanks to the enormous generosity we’ve seen, we have been able to gift the magic of stories to families across Scotland over the holidays. Books are more than a gift under the tree – they bring families together, spark joy and imagination and provide comfort in times of stress.

We spoke to a volunteer at a food bank about the impact of the appeal, who told us: 'The books have been so gratefully received by the many clients who visit Kirkcaldy Foodbank. It has been lovely to offer a brand-new book to someone who never receives anything new, and all our volunteers have enjoyed being able to bring some pleasure to so many during these difficult times.'

We’d like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to The Herald for their support and championing of this appeal. We would also like to thank you, the readers of The Herald, and everyone who supported this appeal – both through generous donations and by sharing it with friends and family.

The Herald: The Scottish Book trustThe Scottish Book trust (Image: free)

Our work does not end here. With the new year ahead of us, we will be delivering books and programmes to people across Scotland at every stage of their lives – delivering Bookbug book bags and song and rhyme sessions for the youngest children; supporting schools and libraries with resources, training, and events; bringing the magic of books to communities across the country through Book Week Scotland; championing new writers; and working with people living with dementia and their carers.

If you’d like to find out more about what we do, or support our work further, visit us at

From everyone at Scottish Book Trust, thank you.

Marc Lambert is CEO Scottish Book Trust