Today best-selling author and women’s literacy champion Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE announces her role as an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust.
Barbara Taylor Bradford will begin her new role as ambassador by joining a roundtable discussion at the House of Lords later today (Monday 10 February 2014), hosted by Baroness Prashar, President of the National Literacy Trust. Barbara will hear an overview of the literacy landscape in the UK and discuss the work of the National Literacy Trust in tackling low literacy levels.
On Wednesday Barbara will take part in a panel discussion alongside pupils from Highbury Fields School on women’s careers in writing. During the discussion she will help the National Literacy Trust to celebrate women in literature, reach out to women who struggle with literacy and inspire a new generation of female writers and readers.
Barbara Taylor Bradford is passionate about empowering women and her books feature women who drive to succeed in life. In the UK, girls’ attitudes to reading and writing need to be improved dramatically. Currently, only one in three girls see writing as cool, and almost half prefer watching TV to reading (48.9%) according to National Literacy Trust’s survey of more than 35,000 children and young people last year.
A recent report from the World Literacy Foundation revealed that illiteracy costs the UK economy around £81 billion a year. The National Literacy Trust’s work is vital in the drive to improve levels of literacy across the UK. Barbara Taylor Bradford’s support will raise the profile of the National Literacy Trust and further the charity’s work in reaching those in need of literacy support.
Born in Yorkshire, Barbara now lives in New York with her movie producer husband Robert Bradford. She is the author of 29 novels, many of which have been adapted for TV and film. A passionate advocate for literacy, Barbara was awarded an OBE in 2007 for her contribution to literature. In 2010 she and her husband Bob were honoured by US charity Literacy Partners for their work with disadvantaged New Yorkers. Her new novel Cavendon Hall, has just been published, alongside a novella Hidden, which is out this week as part of the Quick Reads series of books aimed at adults who are less confident with their reading skills.
Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE says:
“I believe education, and especially the ability to read are vital. Not being able to read is like a death sentence – with reading skills a woman can move forward and achieve a better life.”
“Teaching women to read and become more literate is vitally important, not only for them so that they function well but for their children who are the next generation.”
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust says:
“We are thrilled to have Barbara’s support of the National Literacy Trust and are especially grateful to have her on board to share her vast knowledge and experience in working to address women’s low literacy. Barbara’s work with us as an ambassador will be invaluable in helping us to reach out to women who struggle with literacy.”