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Head of Campaigns and Communications – BookTrust


Do you want to be a key catalyst for behaviour change and support BookTrust's mission to get more children and families reading across the UK? You'll be a highly ambitious person who will lead an effective communications team to deepen BookTrust's impact and help build their reputation and influence.

  • Location: Battersea, London
  • Salary: c£55K

About the role

BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. We know that children who read are happier, healthier, more empathetic and more creative. They also do better at school.

We reach 3.9m children each year with books and support, via every local authority and across every region in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Supported by Arts Council funding and thousands of individual supporters, we reach families through partners in schools, children’s centres, health visitors and libraries, but also, increasingly, through our innovative and engaging digital channels.

This new role of Head of Campaigns and Communications will offer huge scope and potential. It has been created to revitalise and drive behaviour change campaigns and strategic communications, using insight and evidence to engage families, as well our wide and diverse stakeholder groups. Your knowledge of campaigning and communications will help us convince families of the importance of reading, whilst making it fun, accessible and aspirational. You’ll also help to ensure that our stakeholders value what we do.

Who we're looking for

Charity sector recruitment for BookTrust, children's charity

You’ll have deep experience of designing and delivering large-scale behaviour change campaigns and of leading strategic communications. Working with colleagues in marketing, digital, programme design and books, you will be collegiate, innovative, data-led and strategic whilst knowing that details can change everything.

You’ll use data and insight to devise campaigns, working through teams and agencies, and you’ll have a real grip on how to engage, excite and inform families and stakeholders. You’ll be an experienced strategic problem solver; with a broad knowledge and understanding of campaigning and all communication channels, you will thrive in a fast-moving, evolving and multi-disciplinary context.

Your background could be in government, an NDPB, charity, consultancy, or beyond – we’re open minded – as long as you’re ambitious to extend and deepen the impact of our work, help build BookTrust’s reputation and influence, and lead a highly effective communications function.

If you want to be a key catalyst for behaviour change and support our mission to get more children and families reading across the UK, then please get in touch with our advising consultants:

Emma Harvey | 07702 678653 | emma@peridotpartners.co.uk
Lucy Mavers | 07947 935068 | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date: 9am, Monday 14th October 2019

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Emma Harvey

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Dear Applicant,

BookTrust is all about getting children reading and supporting families to read with their children from the very earliest age.

In an increasingly complex world for parents, this is an ever more challenging task. We’re passionate about the importance of our mission and ambitious for the future. We don’t just want to change attitudes, we want to change actual behaviour so that more children and families experience the joy of reading; because children who read are more confident, resilient and creative – they do better at school and better in life.

We have strong universal programmes which have been running for over 20 years, but we want to do more to make sure that all children, whatever their background and family life, see books and reading as relevant to them. We want to make reading fun, accessible, aspirational, easy to fit in and part of every-day family life.

Our new Head of Campaigns and Communications is an essential part of making this happen.

You’ll help the senior leadership team define where campaigns can make a difference. You’ll help us understand where our target audience are: what they read, where they post, how they share. You’ll understand that sometimes, to get families to prioritise reading, you need to meet them on their own ground (like our Bath, Book, Bed campaign, which recommended a gentle routine to help sleep-deprived parents get some essential shut-eye).

Above all, you’ll know that preaching and finger wagging is neither our style, nor likely to effect any behaviour change at all.

Working through and with our talented and professional functional teams, you’ll be a confident leader who’s flexible, collegiate and a team player. In addition to devising and overseeing campaigns, you’ll steer our strategic communications and press. You’ll know what’s happening where around the organisation and you’ll ensure that our communications are joined up and effective.

You’ll be a strong manager and leader with heaps of experience in large-scale behaviour change campaigns and corporate communications. You’ll have the opportunity to build a team to deliver on our exciting ambitions, and you’ll work with intellectually sharp and knowledgeable colleagues to turn our evidence and data into high profile campaigns that make a difference. You’ll be able to deal with complexity and with competing priorities from cross-sector stakeholders.

In return, we can offer you a vital cause, an open, friendly workplace with expert colleagues, an organisation with a firm funding foundation well supported by a fantastic range of stakeholders and an opportunity to make a real difference. We’re also genuinely family-friendly.

BookTrust has a fantastic opportunity to make a difference to the next generation. If you have the skills and passion to be a part of that, we would love to talk to you.

Yours sincerely,

Gemma Malley
Director of Communications and Development

Charity recruitment for BookTrust

BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity working in every region in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

We know that children who read are happier, healthier, more empathetic, and more creative. They also do better at school.

Working with every local authority and across every region in the country, and supported by Arts Council funding, we reach over three million families a year via partners in schools, children’s centres, health visitors and libraries. This incredible network helps us to get children reading across the country.

BookTrust wants all children to have the chance to enjoy reading from an early age. Our national reading schemes and initiatives are there to achieve this ambition.

Our current portfolio of programmes includes:

  • Bookstart – our flagship scheme which provides families a carefully designed gift in their child’s first year to support starting to read early with their baby, and develop the reading habit using books, stories and rhymes.  Since it was established over 25 years ago, the Bookstart model has been replicated and adapted across the world.
  • Bookstart Corner – designed for children’s centres to use with young children and families who need more support to enjoy reading.
  • The Letterbox Club – an award-winning initiative for children in care which provides personalised gift parcels to vulnerable or looked-after children aged 3 – 13 in order to develop their love of reading, engage with numeracy activities, and provide supplementary support to meet both educational and emotional needs.
  • Bookbuzz – a scheme to engage children aged 11-13 with the fun and social benefits that come from choosing books. Last year, over 150,000 children in secondary schools across England and Northern Ireland discussed our specially curated collection of books, debated which was the most appealing to them, and chose their own book to take home and keep.

While our programmes support children and young people from birth to age 14, our focus is on families with children aged 0-5, as fun experiences of reading, stories and rhymes early on can make the biggest difference. We know there is more we can do to ensure the children who need the most help get the right support – this is an important focus of the next phase of our work.

BookTrust is refreshing its strategy.  We’re reviewing what we do against the backdrop of a fast-changing landscape. We want to respond to changes in family-life, to the development of new technologies, and changes in the delivery infrastructure of local services. In the context of a strong universal offer, we particularly want to do more to support children and families who need more help to develop a love of reading.

BookTrust website
Organisation Chart
Bath, Book, Bed campaign

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


If you would like an informal conversation around the role, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Emma Harvey | 07702 678653 | emma@peridotpartners.co.uk 

Lucy Mavers | 07947 935068 | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the experience criteria in the person specification and explains your motivation for applying.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Head of Campaigns and Communications, BookTrust” into the subject field.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process, to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job. Please note that all equality monitoring surveys are completely anonymous, so if you would like to contact us as a disabled applicant, to make us aware of potential operational difficulties, adjustments or support, then please email: emf@peridotpartners.co.uk.

We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief. All applications will be considered solely on merit.


Closing date: 9am, Monday 14th October 2019
Preliminary interviews: Thursday 24th & Monday 28th October
Final interviews at BookTrust: Wednesday 13th November

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and BookTrust are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete equality monitoring survey.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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