Corporate partnerships - Lego builds on a creative BookTrust partnership

Following the success of the initiative, the toy manufacturer says it is open to finding new charities to partner with

Many charities dream of forming a partnership with a famous brand, but few realise that ambition.

However, at the end of 2017 the children's reading charity BookTrust did just that when it teamed up with the plastic brick brand Lego.

Under the initiative, 50,000 families in the south east of England received sets from Lego's Duplo range of building blocks between September and November, alongside the charity's Bookstart Treasure packs.

Each year, the Bookstart Treasure programme hands out 680,000 packs of books and tips to get families reading together through libraries, nurseries and children's centres.

The Duplo sets added to the packs as part of the partnership contained building blocks to create animal figures.

Alliya Beissova, senior brand manager at Lego, says that the decision to go into partnership with BookTrust was an easy one. "When Lego looks at partners, the primary criteria is that they have allied core values," says Beissova. "So we are looking for partners that have similar ideas in mind."

She says that made BookTrust "a natural choice. It was good for both companies."

Charity partnerships give Lego another way to pursue this core mission of encouraging creativity and imagination in children, says Beissova.

For the charity, the partnership could be an opportunity to help fulfil one of its core aims - encouraging a love of reading.

Diana Gerald, the chief executive of BookTrust, says reading for pleasure plays a huge part in developing young children's creativity and imagination, and the Duplo packs will be an extra resource to support families who want to help their children read more.

"Lego does fantastic work in helping children to play and learn new skills," Gerald says. "We hope those families receiving their special Duplo products with their Treasure packs enjoy watching their children having fun and getting creative."

Libraries have also run sessions that use Duplo to help pre-school children explore stories.

The partnership is a pilot project and Lego now plans to talk with some of the families who received packs to help decide on further collaboration.

But Beissova says that it would be open to partnerships with other charities. "As long as we have common objectives, as long as we have similar values, then we would be open to working with that charity," she says.

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