In late 2016, Boots Opticians added the digital charity box to the tills in its practices across the UK, bringing Pennies to more shoppers on more high streets up and down the country. The goal? To raise vital funds for the National Literacy Trust.

Six months after rolling out Pennies to all its core practices, Boots Opticians has helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity.  This fundraising is part of the company’s commitment to highlighting the link between eye health and literacy, and to helping raise literacy levels in the UK.

To date the National Literacy Trust has received just shy of £25,000 through Pennies, thanks to customers who’ve opted to add 50p to their purchase when they pay by card in a branch of Boots Opticians.

Bringing the joy of reading to children in the UK - The National Literacy TrustThese donations have a real, significant impact, and help inspire young readers like nine-year-old Tom, who took part in a National Literacy Trust programme which encourages children to read for enjoyment.

As part of the project, Tom learnt ways to choose books he’d enjoy and had the chance to select three free books to keep.  Tom’s mum said of the National Literacy Trust:

“The books that you have given Tom have been an absolute joy and he has been so excited to receive each new book. He has read all three books from cover to cover already, and you gave him the opportunity to read books he hadn’t seen before.


“Tom actually asked me to put his iPad away and said, “It is taking me away from books!”. The iPad is now in a cupboard and Tom is reading non-stop.”

The funds raised through Pennies donations, generously made by Boots Opticians customers, help to give more children like Tom books to enjoy.

IImproving literacy for children like Tom - The National Literacy Trustt takes just 30 micro-donations to raise £15, money which could enable the National Literacy Trust to give books to children in deprived areas of the UK – often the first books those children have ever owned. Not only that, but donations can support parents too.

On average, just a couple of hours of micro-donations across Boots Opticians practices can raise the £50 needed to help train a volunteer to work with parents of young children, so they can help better develop their children’s communication skills.

The National Literacy Trust’s parent-facing website Words for Life also helps parents understand and fulfil their role in supporting their child’s literacy development, offering tips, developmental milestones, downloadable resources and input from bestselling authors.

The money raised through Pennies donations at Boots Opticians is vital in generating new content for the website and helping to give more children the literacy skills they need to succeed.  Thank you for making your pennies count!


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