Independent children's publisher Lantana has been awarded a £20,000 grant to support its paid internship scheme for young aspiring publishers from underrepresented groups.
The grant has come from Necessity, a philanthropic fund that supports communities to strengthen and adapt to the world’s ongoing economic and environmental challenges. Lantana joins other recipients including Young Identity, a Manchester-based literature and performing arts charity, Black History School and Lancaster Black History Group.
Since establishing its internship scheme in June 2021, the press has offered work experience placements spanning eight weeks to young people from underrepresented groups, using funds awarded from the King’s College London Springboard programme, the OXFO Entrepreneurial Fellowship Initiative and the government's Kickstart scheme. Necessity’s grant is the largest received so far and will enable the current programme to be expanded to include full-time placements.
Alice Curry, founder and c.e.o. of Lantana (pictured), said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Necessity to improve access to an often closed and inaccessible industry for young publishers. We feel strongly about being an independent publisher that operates as social enterprise, placing ethical practices and social responsibility at the heart of our publishing, and this is one way we hope to create meaningful change in the industry.”
Aysha Nasir, who is the press' current funded intern, added: “As a young person about to start her career, it is daunting to see so few people who look like me in the publishing houses I aspire to work at. Lantana’s internship scheme has allowed me to get my foot in the door in an otherwise hard to enter industry and learn so much from the wealth of experience available from the women at the helm. It has been so validating to have my opinions taken seriously, be trusted with a great deal of responsibility, and to be made to really feel part of the team.”