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Chair and Trustees | World Book Day

This is an opportunity to join World Book Day, a charity with a rich history in the hearts of millions of children and families, at an exciting stage of development. We are looking to appoint a new Chair and two new trustees.

  • Location: London
  • Salary: Unremunerated

About the role

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income, and it is our mission to change lives through a love of books and shared reading. We promote reading for pleasure and to offer every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own, regardless of their background or income.

World Book Day was created by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. It is celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide. The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997 to encourage young people to discover the pleasure of reading. Throughout its 24-year history, World Book Day has achieved significant reach and profile, and has recently appointed their first CEO.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the board and help us reach more children, from all backgrounds, to develop a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and to benefit from the improved life chances this brings them.

Working in partnership with the wider board and the CEO, our new Chair and trustees will support our development and make influential decisions while building confidence and consensus. The Chair and trustees will be committed to our vision and values. You will have an exciting opportunity to contribute to positive changes, and to improving the lives of children and young people across the country through the power of reading.

As we embark on our new strategy, reading has never been more vital for children and young people. We are looking to grow, transform and diversify what we do as a charity to achieve our mission, so we are seeking for a Chair who can be an ambassador, spokesperson and enabler for change and growth.

We are proud of the work we have done – but recognise that there is still more to do to ensure we reach more children. We want to build on our success and now seek a Chair and new trustees to support us to do even more to achieve our charitable purpose.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a new Chair to lead us through a significant period of change and development. Our new Chair will build on our success and have the responsibility to deliver World Book Day’s strategy and provide leadership to the wider board. Your background and experience will speak to our purpose. You will have the knowledge and experience to support our plans. You will be a senior leader with experience of charity governance.

Knowledge and understanding of change management, fundraising and children’s literacy and reading for pleasure is important. You will be an influential, supportive leader who builds confidence and consensus. Your responsibilities will include chairing and facilitating meetings, giving direction to policy, represent World Book Day at functions and meetings by acting as a spokesperson for the charity, all while bringing impartiality and objectivity.

We are also looking for passionate and ambitious trustees to join our board. We are looking for people who are committed to our mission and have knowledge and experience of work in charity governance, fundraising, change management, widening participation, education, or literacy and reading for pleasure. Trustees will provide teamwork, strategic direction and vision, oversight, scrutiny, challenge, leadership, and an ability to think creatively.

World Book Day would like our Chair and Trustees to be from a range of backgrounds, experiences, characteristics and places.

To arrange a confidential chat, please contact our executive search advisers at Peridot Partners:

Jennifer Horan | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070497

Liz Holderness | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07872 031079

Closing date: Monday 19th July 2021

Trustee and board recruitment in the charity sector with Jennifer Horan

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Jennifer Horan

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Welcome from Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive & Stephen Lotinga, Chair of Trustees

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in considering joining the World Book Day board as our Chair, or as one of our Trustees.

Ensuring every child has access to books and reading, regardless of their background, is our mission at World Book Day. We know from experience and research that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success, more so than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We are dedicated to seeing more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and seeing the improved life chances this brings them.

In leading the work to achieve this mission, many of our current board members are figureheads within the publishing, literacy, booksellers and acclaimed author world. Our board is shaped by the personal and professional affinity all board members have for children’s wellbeing, education and reading. We are seeking individuals with fresh perspectives to strengthen our board and lead us as Chair. You will help to take us into the next steps of development and get us closer to achieving our goal. While fulfilling the articulated duties as a Chair or as Trustees, successful individuals must have a passion for our mission, values and visions and be an integral part of delivering strategy and bringing new decisions and challenges to enable us to move forward.

Together, by working in partnership, we hope to ensure accessibility of books to children of all ages, backgrounds and incomes, and improve children’s lives through reading for pleasure.

I very much look forward to seeing your application, and to working together to see more children reading for pleasure.

Please speak with our recruitment partner, Peridot Partners for more information and I very much hope you will submit an application.

Cassie Chadderton
Chief Executive

Stephen Lotinga
Chair of Trustees

About World Book Day

Our goal is to change lives through a love of books and shared reading.

Our mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We want to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.

Formed in 1995 and designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

We work with publishers, booksellers, schools, libraries and many other partners across the country on World Book Day every year. Our recently published 2020-2025 strategy recognises that the World Book Day event is a high-profile date in calendars across the globe. However, particularly as the pandemic has led to increased social and educational inequality, World Book Day is working to renew industry relationships and to find more ways to deliver our message.

Over 30 million £1 book tokens are distributed to children and young people. These tokens are then swapped for exclusive, specially published World Book Day £1 books, or used to get £1 off a full priced book or audiobook. The books are also available in braille, large print, and audio to ensure they are accessible to every child.

We encourage children and young people to reach for pleasure through our dedicated work with authors, illustrators, publishers, bookshops and libraries, and through our events and reading resources.

Thousands of schools, supermarkets and bookshops support and take part in World Book Day. Research has found that 95.9% of children have heard of World Book Day, and that children who participate in dedicated activities are more engaged in reading and books than those who do not. In 2020, World Book Day gifted 1.03 million £1 books in the UK & Ireland in only five weeks, encouraged at least 25,000,000 minutes of shared reading, and found that 64% of early years settings and 66% primary schools said World Book Day changed reading habits.

You will find more information about us on our website.

Our Vision, Mission and Values

To see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.

Our Mission

To promote reading for pleasure, and offer every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.

To inspire families and carers across the UK and Ireland to read for pleasure with children for ten minutes on World Book Day, and every day of the year.

To celebrate the benefits of reading for pleasure for everyone, everywhere; promoting the magic of books, the power of imagination and the importance of sharing stories.


  • All children reading for pleasure: We connect with our beneficiaries to ensure all children in the UK and Ireland, from all backgrounds, can develop a life-long habit of reading for pleasure.
  • Fun and celebration: We bring fun, excitement and celebration to our work and show how reading for pleasure can be enjoyable. We bring quality and depth to celebratory, accessible activities.
  • Integrity: We are impartial, fair and transparent. Our activity is evidence based and demonstrates the need for our work and the impact of our work. We are responsible and accountable in all that we do.
  • Innovation: We are positive and proactive in order to help improve levels of reading enjoyment and frequency and improve children’s life chances.
  • Collaboration: We work collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders, engaging with others to share ideas, influence and communicate the value of reading for pleasure.
  • Respect: All children and young people’s voices and experiences are reflected in what we do. We build relationships based on mutual respect. Those who work with us can expect to be treated fairly and respectfully.

Our Future

Our future objectives and strategy are as follows:

  • Encourage all children to develop reading habits to improve life chances now, and for generations to come
  • Be a powerful, collaborative celebration: an annual national event for all those encouraging children to read for pleasure
  • Build our financial and administrative resilience to be more effective and increase our impact

Our Partners

We work with industry partners, retailers, literacy associations and corporate partnerships through our strategy. These include:

  • Bloomsbury
  • DK
  • HarperCollins
  • Oxford University Press
  • Scholastic
  • Puffin Books
  • Waterstones
  • Asda
  • Sainsburys
  • Tesco
  • WHSmith
  • Book Aid International
  • National Literacy Trust
  • Publishers’ Association
  • Booksellers’ Association
  • Premier League
  • McDonalds
  • Royal Mail

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


    Thank you for your interest in these roles.

    Please download the Chair – Role Description OR Trustee – Role Description and fill out this Equality Monitoring Survey

    If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Jennifer Horan | 07519 070497 | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk

    Liz Holderness | 07872 031079 | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk

    Please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position. Please also complete the Equality Monitoring Survey.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “World Book Day – Chair OR “World Book Day – Trustee” into the subject field.

    We will send an acknowledgement email within three working days from receipt. If you have not received a response, please contact Oliver Gardner on oliver@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07807 014772 or Kerry-Ann Charles on kerryann@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 398905.

    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.

    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, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


    Closing date: Monday 19th July 2021
    Preliminary interviews: Wednesday 4th August 2021
    Final interviews: Tuesday 10th August 2021

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and World Book Day are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse, inclusive, 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 this 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 Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

    We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, and making decisions using selection criteria which do not discriminate. We will take every possible step to ensure that employees and volunteers are treated fairly, with the aim of creating a culture that respects and values each others’ differences, that is free of discrimination and promotes dignity, equality, diversity and inclusion.

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