Community involvement at Taylor & Francis
At Taylor & Francis we’re committed to fostering human progress through knowledge, and we aim to promote a positive future for everyone through our work. This includes community involvement through corporate fundraising, charity partnerships, equipment donations, and volunteering.
We believe in making a meaningful contribution to the communities we serve – globally, nationally, and locally. We aim to promote literacy and access to books, journals, and learning materials – while deepening the connections with our local communities.
Our main community involvement initiatives currently include:
- Corporate fundraising. Walk the World is our biggest and most international initiative, where colleagues around the world get together, join a walk and raise money for charity.
- Charity partnerships. We work with a number of charities, including initiatives at Taylor & Francis India that support children and adults with visual impairment, autism, and Down Syndrome.
- Equipment donations. We donate laptops to a variety of local charities, from Asylum Welcome to Getting Oxfordshire Online, plus Ukrainian children fleeing war.
- Corporate volunteering. We actively encourage our staff to engage with a charity or local community of their choice through our volunteer programs, and offer four days’ paid leave per year for this.
In addition, Routledge sponsors three of the National Literacy Trust’s key publications, which are mailed to over 25,000 UK schools. We’ve partnered with Bookshare in the US, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK, and the AccessText Network (ATN) in the US and Canada, to give access to our publications to people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled.
Corporate fundraising: Walk the World
Our main corporate fundraising effort throughout the year is Walk the World. The idea is simple. Each year over 4,000 colleagues from all over the world organise a day out to walk and raise money for charity. Since it started in 2016, colleagues across the Informa Group have raised around £1 million.
Every location has its own flavor. Colleagues could be walking through a major city like Mumbai or Sao Paulo, climbing peaks in Hong Kong or Switzerland, hiking through the countryside in Auckland or Boulder, or undertaking a marathon-length route through the streets of London.
Colleagues join an office walk in their country or organize their own local walk, while making a donation to their chosen charity. They might also ask friends and family for sponsorship. Walks may involve a whole office or, for more remote teams, a smaller local group. Even individual walks are possible.
Our walks support a wide range of charities, from international to local, including:
- Asylum Welcome, which offers practical support to asylum seekers, refugees, and vulnerable migrants living in Oxfordshire, UK. It was the chosen charity of WTW Oxford in 2022
- National Federation of the Blind of India, the largest self-help organisation of the blind in India, which benefits from funds raised by our Taylor & Francis India team.
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading independent conservation organisation, which has been supported by our home-working ‘home walkers’ around the world.
Charity partnerships: Taylor & Francis India
Colleagues in our New Delhi office have fostered close partnerships with local charities that support education and skills training. These include:
IRMET provides free remedial and supplementary education and skills training to children from underprivileged backgrounds. It also empowers them through theatre, music and art. In 2022 we celebrated five years of partnership with IRMET by holding ‘Summer Cyclo-fun’, a cycling marathon to facilitate the students’ mobility and support sustainability. Our volunteering events for 2022–24 include a sports day and a digital literacy bootcamp. We also plan a Taylor & Francis Scholarship to support children’s higher education and skill development.
This is the largest self-help organisation of the blind in India, which we’ve raised funds for via our Walk the World India events. Our volunteering events for 2022–24 include chess and cricket tournaments, a fashion show, handicraft workshops, and a ‘green day’. Over this period we also aim to create braille educational resources in print, ePub and audiobook format for up to 1,000 visually impaired children, and enhance the skills of up to 300 children, to make them job-ready.
This organisation is dedicated to educating and supporting children with developmental disabilities such as autism and Down Syndrome. It has a holistic development program that targets self-development, vocational skilling, and social inclusion initiatives. Our volunteering events for 2022–24 include an international yoga day and functional developmental classes. We also plan vocational training and medical support for children and young adults with autism, to support their employability and ability to lead a more independent life.
Equipment donations: Laptops to promote digital inclusion
We often take for granted the connectedness we have in our everyday lives. For those in difficult circumstances this can make all the difference to their mental wellbeing, and help give them access to knowledge and keep learning. Over the last few years, Taylor & Francis UK has donated laptops to a variety of local charities, including Asylum Welcome, Getting Oxfordshire Online, and local council initiatives. This not only helps tackle digital exclusion, it gives old technology a new lease of life.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, we’ve also been supporting children fleeing the war. Many moved to the UK without the chance to gather their possessions. By providing laptops we’ve enabled families to stay in touch and children to continue their schooling.
Here are just some of the stories from children we’ve helped:
“I am from the city of Dnipro in Ukraine. I came to England with my mum and we live with a host family. Thank you very much for the laptop! I can now do online classes with my school back in Ukraine and stay in touch with my friends.”
“It is very difficult to come to another country and start a new life, new school and find new friends. Thank you for the great present – a really nice laptop. I am now doing online English classes with my old teacher from Ukraine and I can do my classwork for my new school.”
“I came to England from Kyiv. I am very grateful to you for your generous gift, and this laptop is really useful for me in my studies and my social relations with my friends – some of them are still in Ukraine.”
In 2022 we donated over 100 laptops. We plan to donate more – not just in the UK, but in the US and India.
Corporate volunteering: Online Reading Volunteer program
We actively encourage our staff to engage with a charity or local community of their choice through our volunteer programs. Our parent company, Informa, provides four days’ paid leave per year for this. Many UK and US staff volunteer with Chapter One’s Online Reading Volunteer program, which helps struggling readers aged 5–7 years old.
Reading and literacy are the basis of education – yet not every child gets an equal start in life. Unfortunately, many children don’t have the opportunity to spend time reading with a parent or guardian. According to Chapter One, 36% of English children from disadvantaged backgrounds are unable to read adequately at 11 years of age, one in eight children in the UK don’t own a single book, and one in seven never hear a bedtime story.
Our partnership with Chapter One’s Online Reading Volunteer program pairs struggling readers with a positive, committed adult who helps them practice reading. This enables the child to improve their literacy skills, enjoy reading, and feel positive and confident about their own ability.
Throughout the school year, around 40 Taylor & Francis staff volunteer every week to help children via these online reading sessions. It’s a 30-minute commitment that has a big impact. It makes a huge difference to the children, their teachers – and our volunteers.
A teacher at one of the schools we’ve worked with says:
“This year 33 children received reading support with many volunteers from Taylor & Francis. All children have enjoyed their reading sessions and have made progress. As a school we are extremely thankful to all the tutors who participated and engaged in the program. It meant a lot to both the staff and children.”
One of our volunteers says:
“From a volunteer’s perspective, the program has been an incredibly fulfilling and valuable experience. Chapter One talks about how much students gain from this experience, but I wasn’t prepared for how much my student really did improve over the year, by just reading with her for 30 minutes a week. Not only did her reading improve, but she began to speak louder and with more confidence.”
Our commitment to community involvement
At Taylor & Francis, our commitment to community involvement is informed by our core purpose, which is to foster human progress through knowledge. The charities and communities we help through our fundraising, partnerships, donations, and volunteering all reflect this.
We’re proud of the support we provide that promotes digital inclusion, improves literacy, and develops the skills of children and young adults with developmental disabilities or visual impairment. From promoting reading and access to our books and journals to volunteering with local charities, we want to make a positive difference to the lives of those we serve and the communities where we work.
The opportunities for Taylor & Francis staff to get involved and make a difference is also one of the reasons people choose to work with us – and we actively support them to do so. Find out more about working with us, and the contribution you can make. Together, we want to have a positive impact in the communities that we serve.