2016: In Review

We’re very pleased to say that MagAid has taken another step forward this year. Our partnership with the National Literacy Trust, where MagAid projects are delivered under as part of the Young Readers Programme, has been expanded further across Britain.

As many as 300 children from 10 schools in England, Scotland, and Wales have benefited from the programme, and we are really grateful to all of the teaching staff involved. We would also like to thank the Editors from PPA member-companies Egmont, Immediate Media, and Signature who gave up their time to go into local schools and talk about how great magazines are in supporting literacy. These projects have been hugely successful and impactful:

  • 93.1% of teaching staff said their pupils’ enjoyment of reading increased as a result
  • 92.1% noticed a positive change in their pupils’ reading attainment after the programme

We are in discussion with our colleagues at the NLT about developing MagAid further for 2017, with updates now provided via the PPA website.

Finally, we would like to say our now annual ‘Thank You’ from everyone involved in MagAid to Anne Jordan and the team at Signature Publishing, who will again be making a donation to the charity in lieu of sending Christmas cards. It is a really kind gesture and we are very grateful to Signature for their support of this important cause – one which we know is close to their heart as a company.

Here’s to another successful year in 2017!


MagAid moves forward in 2016

With 2016 planning now underway, we thought a reminder of 2015’s achievements was timely. Thanks to everyone who supported MagAid over the past year and we hope to update you with details of more activities over the next few months.

A Merry Christmas from Signature

Our annual thanks go once again to Anne Jordan and the team at Signature Publishing, who will be making a donation to MagAid in lieu of sending Christmas cards in 2015. We are, as ever, very grateful for your support. Which leads us on nicely to. . .

The PPA Independent Publisher Awards

. . . where Signature was one of the winners this year – and among the generous companies who raised more than £1,000 –  all of which will be filtered through to. . .

Plans for 2016

. . . which are being discussed at present with the NLT. We hope to expand the reach of the MagAid Young Readers Programmes even further this year, and will aim to provide more updates as things develop. Stay tuned!

Girls and boys talk magazines at Colville Primary

Pupils at Colville Primary were paid a visit by Girl Talk magazine to top off a week of activities funded by MagAid.

MagAid Colville

Editor Sara Oldham came to the West London school on June 19 to answer questions about magazines from students who had spent the past week learning about the industry and creating their own titles.

Working in teams with designated roles, the children conducted interviews with teachers and each other, designed front covers, wrote stories and created word searches for their publications.

Following the talk from Sara, parents were invited into the classroom for a celebration event where the children were able to show off their work.

The activities were all co-ordinated through the National Literacy Trust, which through MagAid funding has developed a version of its Young Readers Programme exclusively based on magazines.

Projects are scheduled to run at a total of five primary schools in England and Scotland in 2015 and further information on the other projects will follow.


The PPA would like to thank Colville Primary, the Girl Talk team at Immediate Media and the NLT for making the project such as success.

Huge thanks also to Marketforce and the other magazine distributors involved for their invaluable support in sourcing magazines for the project – the children are so used to having to return reading materials, such as books, when working on projects that they were all amazed to be able to choose three magazines and then take them home!

2014 in Review

Despite the inexcusable 12-month gap in blog entries, plenty has been going on behind the scenes with MagAid in 2014. So, falling in line with the seasonal trend for round-ups and reviews, here’s an overview of what happened this year and a look ahead to what’s coming in 2015 (part of which will be to keep this blog updated on a much more regular basis, we promise!).

The Magazine Diaries
Our special thanks go to Peter Houston of the Flipping Pages blog, the man behind one of the most interesting and, from a MagAid perspective, important initiatives of 2014: The Magazine Diaries. Over three months, Peter coaxed and cajoled more than 100 magazine professionals to take the time to write 100 words on how they felt about what they do for a living and the products they make – and every penny of the £5 cover price will go to MagAid. If you haven’t already, buy your copy here.

PPA Awards Donations
We were amazed again at the generosity of the publishers who contributed to donations at The PPA Awards, the Independent Publisher Awards and the Scottish Magazine Awards this year. All of this money will be invested into MagAid projects in the New Year so thank you to everyone who donated.

Signature Publishing
In what is becoming a bit of an annual tradition, Signature Publishing have again decided to make a donation to MagAid in lieu of sending Christmas cards. Signature has been a core supporter of MagAid from day one and we are very grateful to Anne Jordan and the team for continuing their valued support.

Plans for 2015
Given all the effort that goes into all the fundraising mentioned above, we are very pleased to be able to announce that four new MagAid projects will be kicking off in the New Year. These projects are the result of a lot of planning behind the scenes with the National Literacy Trust this year. Based on the results of the second pilot projects, we have made some revisions to the programme that will enable us to reach a greater number of children in the schools involved. We’ll share more details on this as the projects develop and, as ever, if you are interested in getting involved in MagAid then please email us.

Signature spreads seasonal cheer

The good people at Signature Publishing have done their best to banish the January cold with a heart-warming donation of £200 to MagAid.

The sum combines the proceeds from a staff Christmas raffle with a donation from the company in lieu of sending Christmas cards.

We’re very grateful to Signature for thinking of us at this time of year – particularly given the wide variety of charity causes they support – and it’s great to be involved with the company, given that MagAid was conceived by Signature’s former Chief Executive Clive Foskett.

Our thanks to Anne Jordan and the whole Signature team!


Independents Day

The MagAid coffers were swelled by over £1,000 on Friday, 6 December at the 2013 PPA Independent Publisher Awards at The Montcalm hotel in London.

Thanks to all the guests at the lunch event for their kind donations – and congratulations also to those lucky enough to walk off with one of the fantastic raffle prizes!

All the money raised will be set aside for investment into the next phase of MagAid as we build on the momentum from our successful second round of pilot projects which took place this year.

If you’re a PPA member, or if you work in magazine publishing and want to get involved, get in touch by emailing magaid@ppa.co.uk.

Pilot’s Progress

Sitting among the Year 7 students, you could sense the buzz.

Huddled together in small groups, the 11-year-olds (each proudly wearing a sticker marking them out as ‘Editor’, ‘Advertising Director’ or ‘Designer’) brainstormed ideas for their own magazine creation – coming up with a name, thinking about their target audience, designing a front cover.

The exercise is part of the MagAid lesson plan devised by the National Literacy Trust to support the project’s second pilot. It is running at three schools across the country in Folkestone, West London and Middlesbrough, and the results will be instrumental in taking MagAid forward into its next phase.

The feedback appears to be positive: students are enjoying the lesson content, working collaboratively, and are genuinely enthused by the magazines (helped by the opportunity to select a title to keep for themselves). Also, crucially, teachers are finding magazines to be a useful (and pretty-much untapped) medium for reaching readers with varied literacy skills.

We’ll find out more about where the pilots have succeeded and where they might need developing in the coming weeks but, for now, a thank you to all the schools and teaching staff involved; to the National Literacy Trust for putting the programmes in place; and to everyone whose donations are helping make MagAid a success.

After the geek day, the boot fair and the cake fest, our friends at Dovetail have done it again.

ImageThis time it was a PJ Day and, as you can see from the photographic evidence, everyone got into the spirit by coming to the office in their favourite bedroom attire/dodgy onesie.

Incredibly, Ranj Begley and the team have now raised around £2,500 of funds for MagAid in just a few short months. All the funding will go to the programmes being delivered by the National Literacy Trust using magazines to tackle literacy problems among disadvantaged children.

We are very grateful for Dovetail’s support so a big thank you to all involved.

To find out how you can get involved in MagAid, please contact Rose Benjamin.

The Inaugural MagAid Open

History was made on September 19 as more than 40 golfers gathered at Bletchingley Park for the inaugural MagAid charity golf day organised by Signature Publishing.

A glorious Indian Summer’s day and beautiful views of the North Downs set the perfect scene for some handicap-busting rounds of golf but every point was hard earned on a hilly course with freshly-tined greens and a stroke index one that justified its billing as the toughest hole on the card.

Thanks to everyone who supported the day, either by playing or through sponsorship, and congratulations to all the winners (more details to follow).

Finally, a special mention to Clive Foskett and Andy Bone of Signature, whose hard work in putting this event together has generated more than £2,000 for our very worthy cause.

For more information or to sign up for next year’s event, please contact Clive Foskett.