Links ditches freebies to raise literacy in Hackney

Matthew Keats

Matthew Keats

Rather than hand out the usual items, such as ­stationery and umbrellas, the firm has pledged £18,000 for a literacy festival for five- to 15-year-olds in Hackney, East London.

Graduate recruitment partner Matthew Keats said: “Over the past couple of years the so-called freebies that are given away at law fairs have become more and more elaborate, so after feedback from students we decided to do something better with the money.”

The firm helped fund the week-long StarLit Festival, which gave more than 3,000 children the opportunity to read new books and meet authors. The cash also meant every child at the festival could take a book home.

The festival is aligned with the firm’s pro bono project, the Hackney Schools’ ­Programme: Linking Work with Learning.

Global community and investment manager Matthew Sparks said the initiative between the firm and every school in ­Hackney has been designed to ­develop the employability and raise the aspirations of students across the borough.