Literacy is at the heart of everything Letters Live does and we are proud to support the charities listed below and the remarkable work they are all doing.

The Ministry of Stories

The Ministry of Stories is a creative writing and mentoring centre for young people in east London. They use storytelling to inspire young people aged 8-18, in the belief that writing unleashes their imaginations and builds confidence, self-respect and communication.

Nick Hornby, Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne founded the Ministry of Stories in 2010. In its first year, over 3000 young people took part in their volunteer-led workshops and writing projects. Their inspiration came from the writer Dave Eggers and educator Ninive Calegari, who opened a shop for pirates and writing centre called 826 Valencia in San Francisco.

The Reading Agency

A charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Because everything changes when we read.

The Reading Agency is a leading independent charity whose pioneering work brings the joy of reading to the widest possible audiences across the UK, in partnership with the public library service. The charity’s mission is to create and deliver innovative reading opportunities that inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading with others and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives. The Reading Agency is funded by the Arts Council.

First Story

First Story changes lives through writing. They believe there is dignity and power in every young person’s voice and that all young people deserve the opportunity to be creative.

First Story aims to achieve this by bringing acclaimed writers into challenging secondary schools to work with students in an intensive, fun, creative programme. Over the course of an academic year, each writer-in-residence leads weekly after-school workshops which culminate in the publication of an anthology and a book-launch event at which the students read their writing to peers, friends, families and teachers. They incorporated as a charity in 2008, and seven years on, they are running creative-writing residencies in 50 schools across the East Midlands, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, London, Oxfordshire and West Yorkshire.

By encouraging students’ confidence in their own stories, First Story raises aspirations and provide participants with the skills to achieve them.

Help Refugees

Help Refugees is a grassroots humanitarian organisation. It was founded by a group of friends in September 2015, in response to the refugee crisis unfolding on our doorstep. It is now providing aid in more camps across Europe than any other grassroots humanitarian organisation. Help Refugees pride themselves in providing fast and effective emergency relief, while maintaining the dignity of those in need. Their work in the past year has been acknowledged by UNHCR, Oxfam, Red Cross, Save the Children, Medicins Du Monde, and Amnesty International. They campaign for the rights of refugees, in particular unaccompanied minors, and have been instrumental in passing the Dubs Amendment and the activation of the Dublin Three Agreement.

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust works to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s poorest communities, where one in three people have literacy problems.


826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

826LA’s services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing sills are fundamental to future success. Since opening our doors in 2005, 826LA has served more than 50,000 students through free tutoring and writing support with the support of over 3,300 registered volunteers.