Businesses in Peterborough urged to pledge to help raise literacy levels

Staff from the Peterborough branches of Boots Opticians are participating in a nationwide partnership with the National Literacy Trust.
Staff from the Peterborough branches of Boots Opticians are participating in a nationwide partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

Businesses in Peterborough are being urged to pledge their support to tackling low literacy in the city.

Firms are signing up to the National Literacy Trust’s Local Business Promise for Peterborough.

The promise will be launched at a business breakfast at the Allia Future Business Centre, Peterborough United Football Club, London Road on July 4 at 830am.

The event will feature speakers Julia Cleverdon, the trust’s chair, and the charity’s director, Jonathan Douglas, with Gillian Beasley, chief executive of Peterborough City Council and Ben Fletcher, managing director of Boots Opticians.

Staff from the Peterborough branches of Boots Opticians are taking part in a partnership with the trust to highlight the link between eye health and literacy.

Each employee has been given two days a year to volunteer in local schools. The Queensgate Centre branch in Peterborough has also created a reading area for families in its waiting room.

Sally Atkinson, manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub, in Peterborough, said: “Businesses have a crucial role to play in raising literacy levels in our city and by making a Local Business Promise for Peterborough, companies will help to increase the city’s economic competitiveness and social mobility.

Dave Webb, manager of Boots Opticians in Peterborough, said: “Our partnership with the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough provides opportunities for us to share our love of books and is proving to be a wonderful experience for our staff and customers.”

Tackling low literacy has been the focus of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough for two years, supported by partnerships with a range of organisations from the public, voluntary and private sectors.

The Local Business Promise for Peterborough will create opportunities for firms of every size to get involved.

These include sponsoring literacy projects or programmes in schools, employee volunteering, fundraising and spreading literacy messages through their workforces.