Fort Kinnaird has gifted £1,250 worth of books to The Venchie Children & Young People’s Project to be distributed to children and young people in the South East of Edinburgh.

The Venchie helps children and young people in Niddrie with a range of play, recreation, and issue-based youth work.

This donation means that the charity has been able to gift a diverse range of books from various genres and themes for different age groups, providing local youngsters with stories to read for enjoyment at home.

The books have been delivered by The Venchie along with special art boxes to enable youngsters in the local area to remain creative during lockdown.

The initiative has been led by Fort Kinnaird’s owner, British Land, and the National Literacy Trust through their ongoing partnership which is now in its tenth year.

This latest contribution is part of the shopping centre’s broader work in the community, which included the donation of 300 books during the first lockdown last year, as well as the installation of a Giving Box at Fort Kinnaird where visitors can make contactless donations to support local charities.

Susan Heron, Manager at Venchie Children & Young People’s Project, said: “The pandemic has impacted the families we help in all kinds of ways, and we’re incredibly thankful for all of the support Fort Kinnaird has given to us. These book donations have helped children of all ages across our community who might not have had access to them otherwise.”

Liam Smith, centre director at Fort Kinnaird, said: “We’ve been supporting Venchie’s Children & Young People’s Project for many years, and know they do an incredible job supporting youngsters in the local area. The past twelve months have been challenging for all charities, so it’s now more important than ever to keep supporting them as they continue to give back to those most in need.”

Jonathan Douglas, chief executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: “We know that 1 in 11 disadvantaged children do not have a single book at home and that this can be hugely detrimental to their development. Initiatives like these ensure local families have books to enjoy at home, and children’s imaginations and literacy skills can continue to thrive.”