The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), which works to alleviate isolation among the elderly, has been named London Book Fair's charity of the year.
The organisation runs initiatives including its home library service, which sees volunteers work with 19 library services across the country to select reading materials based on their clients’ preferences. They are then delivered in person, ensuring regular visits to people who may have limited social interactions.
Jacks Thomas, director at LBF, said: "The RVS home library service makes books readily available to those who cannot easily access bookshops or libraries, which is surely the most fantastic initiative in itself. However, the home library service does so much more than simply deliver books; they enable the pleasure and companionship that books offer to those for whom libraries and bookshops have become inaccessible. This fabulous service demonstrates very powerfully just what an important – and enduring – role books play across our lives."
As charity of the year, it will be given an exhibition space at LBF in March, in addition to marketing support. The fair will also provide the charity with year-long promotion on its website, and online opportunities for fundraising and awareness.
Anna Foley, regional partnerships manager at RVS, added: "As well as ensuring readers can continue to enjoy their love of literature, our home library service volunteers offer a lifeline to the older people they support; a friendly, familiar face regularly visiting people whose mobility and social interaction are limited. Thanks to the exhibition space and marketing support from LBF, we are confident more people will be inspired to support our work."