Reading from the Start graphic

A £250,000 project to boost children’s literacy in Hackney and Tower Hamlets has won a prestigious award for innovation.

The ACE Innovation in Partnering Awards have recognised Reading from the Start as a "first-class example of corporate social responsibility and social value initiatives".

The Peabody and VINCI Facilities project offers fun activities, including storytelling sessions and sing-alongs that bring books to life. The weekly sessions encourage reading, plus family interaction through arts, crafts and games. 


VINCI Facilities is ploughing £110,000 into the scheme, which complements our partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. This offers a free book every month to under-fives living in Peabody homes in Hackney or Tower Hamlets.

Reading from the start award
Volunteers are invited to join the project

“We are delighted Reading from the Start has been recognised with this award," says Jonathan Sandall, our fundraising director. "We are helping to make a huge difference to people’s lives, not only encouraging them but enabling them to foster a love of reading from an early age." 


Garry McInerney, VINCI Facilities operations manager, says: “Social value features in VINCI's business core values and Peabody is renowned for its community ethos and philanthropic history which is why this award is so thrilling for our partnership to receive.”

Nelson Ogunushakin OBE, Chief Executive of the ACE, says: “The project is an innovative example of what can be achieved using Term Partnering Contract and genuine collaboration to deliver remarkable projects."

Reading from the start award (1)
Jonathan Sandell (centre) receives the award


Around one in four London children leave primary school unable to read properly, which can have a major impact on their life chances.

Reading with a child during the early years of their development can significantly increase cognitive abilities and language skills later in life.  

More information

The Reading from the Start book corners run at Gore Road Community Centre and Pembury Senior Citizen Hall. For dates, please contact Symone Brown on 0800 587 8215 or