Very’s 80s-themed ball raises £180,000 for children’s reading charity Coram Beanstalk
December 5, 2022
Funds raised from the event will support Coram Beanstalk, Very’s charity partner since 2019, to continue to provide one-on-one reading support to children across the UK through its network of schools and volunteer reading partners. The charity’s research shows 94% of schools receiving its support see an improvement in general attitude to learning, and that children who choose to read feel better about themselves, and do better in school and in life.
The retailer’s 1980s-themed charity ball saw 800 guests, including celebrities Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Catherine Tyldesley and Rachel Lugo, enjoy dinner and performances from a star-studded line-up of some of the era’s most iconic artists, including Go West, Paul Young, Tony Hadley and The Human League. Guests also bid generously to win a selection of coveted prizes and experiences including VIP hospitality tickets to Peter Kay at The O2 and VIP backstage passes to Parklife festival.
Proceeds from the ball take the total amount raised by The Very Group for Coram Beanstalk to date to £510,000. Colleagues have undertaken fundraising activities, including marathons and skydives, while the retailer has also donated tech bundles to Coram Beanstalk’s partner schools and created product collaborations such as a collection of Roald Dahl x Very pyjamas, for which 30% of sales were donated to the charity.
The Very Group has a long history of supporting charities, having raised more than £1.5 million for its partners over the last five years. Previous partners include The Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool and The Booth Centre in Manchester, which both support people affected by homelessness, Alder Hey Children’s Charity and Claire House Children’s Hospice in Wirral.
Lionel Desclée, Group CEO at The Very Group, said: “We had a fantastic evening and I’d like to thank our guests for their generous support, which will make a real difference in children’s lives. Our purpose is to help families get more out of life and we’re proud to work with Coram Beanstalk, whose mission is so closely aligned with our own.
“We couldn’t have raised this sum without our wonderful sponsors, partners, colleagues and volunteers both at the ball and over the last three years. A huge thank you to everyone involved for supporting The Very Group and Coram Beanstalk in their vital work.”
Amy Lewis, head of Coram Beanstalk, commented: “The charity ball was a sparkling success and a highlight of the year. It was absolutely fantastic to see so much support for our charity on the night which continued the amazing help we have received from The Very Group during our partnership to date.
“The funds raised will help us in our quest to ensure every child becomes a reader, bridging the gap of opportunity that still exists for far too many children in the UK today. With the support of The Very Group, we are able to transform lives by helping more primary school children with their reading - giving them more opportunities to succeed and the ability to choose their own path.
“The children we work with thrive within the regular reading sessions our volunteer reading helpers provide, and for many children it is the highlight of their week! When a child becomes a reader, they get the very best chance in life.”
Ashley Muldoon (The Very Group)
07523 044 507
Notes to editors
About The Very Group
With annual revenue of £2.15bn, The Very Group is a unique digital business that combines online retail and flexible payments. Our digital retail brands, Very and Littlewoods, help to bring over 2,000 desirable labels within easy reach of more customers.
Across electrical, home, fashion and more, we sell everything our 4.4 million customers could need, except food. And our flexible payment options, which are provided responsibly via our Very Pay platform and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, help our customers manage their household budgets.
We have over a hundred years of history behind us, but at our heart there is a passion for change – to constantly improve what we do, to innovate with data and technology at our core and to be the best possible place to work.
About Coram Beanstalk
Coram Beanstalk is a national children's reading charity established in 1973, supporting children to become confident, independent readers. The charity recruits, trains and supports volunteers to become Coram Beanstalk reading helpers.
Coram Beanstalk reading helpers provide consistent, one- to-one, in-person support to children in primary schools. They help children to switch onto reading, learn to read and become readers.
Coram Beanstalk also runs Reading Leaders training in secondary schools offering older children the skills they need to support their younger peers to become more fluent, confident readers.
The charity can provide bespoke training to the wider school community and foster carers.
Coram Beanstalk create readers, because when a child becomes a reader, they get the very best chance in life.
Coram Beanstalk is part of the Coram group of charities.
For further information visit www.corambeanstalk.org.uk.