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We are committed to conducting our business responsibly in all of our local communities

Community Engagement May 2019 – April 2020

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported their local communities during the last year. Everyone is warmly encouraged to give their time to volunteering, to carry out charity fundraising and to support schools and young people to reach their potential.

Volunteering hours: 397 people gave 1,168 hours

Financial donations:  £56,375

Book donations: 42,848

Work experience and internship placements: 59


In December 2019, colleagues in Brazil filled 240 bags with toys, clothes, books, toiletries and candy, which the charity Grupo Amar gave to children in the community the week before Christmas.


Colleagues in Iberia continued to support the Red Cross, by donating Christmas presents for needy children.


In September 2019, Cambridge Manila championed a two-day fundraising activity for Camp Resilient Hearts, a pioneer grief camp for children aged seven to twelve who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Each child is partnered with an adult who will be their support buddy, and small groups of children come together so they can share their stories with each other.

In October 2019, the Platform Technology Education teams participated in a community event with the Onesimo Bulilit Foundation, a faith-based, non-profit NGO working with street children and their families in Manila. Colleagues raised 77,000 PHP (c. £1,180) which supported 110 people with activities including games, storytelling and gift-giving.

Colleagues in Manila support the Onesimo Bulilit Foundation
Colleagues in Manila support the Onesimo Bulilit Foundation

In January 2020, twelve colleagues from the Central Quality Assurance team volunteered for Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, cleaning and refurbishing houses in communities in Pasig, Metro Manila. Gawad Kalinga means to 'give care’ and their mission is to eradicate poverty for about five million families, by restoring the human dignity of the poor.

Colleagues in Manila support Kalinga Gawad Community Development Foundation
Colleagues in Manila support Kalinga Gawad Community Development Foundation

For the eighth year running, 49 colleagues in the Content and Data Services team supported the Laura Vicuña Foundation by raising 22,700 Php (£363) and the office donated a further 42,000 php (£670), which will help the foundation provide education to street children.

In February 2020, 75 colleagues took part in a blood donations day with Makati Medical Center, giving sixty units of blood.


Eighteen colleagues in Singapore volunteered six hours each month to support the YWCA’s ‘Sustenance for Families Packing’ distribution programme, whose aim is to ease the financial burdens faced by low income families. The YWCA partner with organisations to identify needy families and provide them with food and household necessities.

Colleagues in Singapore support the YWCA’s ‘Sustenance for Families Packing’ programme
Colleagues in Singapore support the YWCA’s ‘Sustenance for Families Packing’ programme
South Africa 

In July 2019, colleagues in Cape Town once again marked Mandela Day, by supporting Rise Against Hunger, a charity which helps children in disadvantaged communities across South Africa. Rise Against Hunger aims to pack 418,000 meals which feed more than 59,000 preschool children during the year. The three Cambridge teams packed 2,772 meals in 67 minutes. 


In September 2019, colleagues in Thailand donated 20,000 THB (c. £5,000) to support people affected by floods in the North-East of the region. This was matched by the local Press office, so a total donation of 40,000 THB was given to help make 200 survival bags containing essentials including food, water, medicine, mosquito repellent and other household items. Book donations were made to the Satang Mongkolsuk Donation Centre, which gives books to poor schools; and to the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy.


Of the 167 colleagues volunteering in the UK, almost 100 of them were involved in activities supporting social mobility and opening up Cambridge University Press and the publishing industry to people from all backgrounds. The aim of these activities is to broaden young people’s horizons, improve their confidence and get them thinking about publishing as a potential career option.

In July 2019, sixteen students from schools across Cambridge attended work experience over a two week period. Their placements were hosted by departments across the whole organisation. Students attended daily workshops helping them to develop their knowledge of careers, CV writing, apprenticeships and the graduate programme. In addition, 32 other students participated in work experience and internship placements.

In November 2019, as part of Work in Publishing Week, forty students from Chesterton Community College and Long Road Sixth Form College visited the Cambridge office to attend mock interviews, CV workshops and career carousels, learning about the varied roles and many routes into publishing.

In February 2020, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, 21 apprentices, their line managers and colleagues welcomed local students, their parents and schools careers advisors, to find out how apprenticeships work and how Press apprentices have progressed and continued their publishing careers after completing their apprenticeship learning.

National Apprenticeship Week
National Apprenticeship Week

In March 2020, as part of World Book Day, students from five local schools attended our ‘Publishing: more than you ever imagined’ event. 25 colleagues from all parts of the organisation spoke to students about the areas they work in, how they got there and what they enjoy about working in publishing, giving them insights into how an international publisher works.

World Book Day
World Book Day

In May 2019, a team of twelve colleagues from Cambridge Learning for Schools started a reading project at Mayfield Primary School, with seven people visiting on a weekly or fortnightly basis, giving additional practice to children aged 5 to 11. 

'This support has been invaluable. It is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit volunteer readers from the school community and Cambridge University Press have committed to providing regular, weekly volunteers to read on a one to one basis with some of our children. This really does make a huge difference to them; not only do they make huge gains through reading with an adult regularly, but they also form positive relationships with their reader'
Rachel Barnes, Reading Teacher, Mayfield Primary School

'Having the chance to pass on my love of books to local children is the perfect volunteer role. This first-hand insight into some of the challenges faced by young readers has been enormously beneficial to my role. It's also just been an enjoyable experience to watch them develop as readers.'
Rosalyn Scott, Content Lead, volunteer

Colleagues give regular reading support at Mayfield Primary School
Colleagues give regular reading support at Mayfield Primary School
Other volunteering

72 colleagues gave more than 500 hours to improve local biodiversity, taking part in Wildlife Trust activities including meadow management, hay raking, coppicing and bird-hide maintenance.

The Academic Board volunteer for the Wildlife Trust, June 2019
The Academic Board volunteer for the Wildlife Trust, June 2019

Five colleagues cooked and served lunch for forty people at Winter Comfort, a day centre for the homeless in Cambridge.

ELT colleagues volunteering at Winter Comfort, a day centre for the homeless
ELT colleagues volunteering at Winter Comfort, a day centre for the homeless

Sixteen colleagues offered to translate information panels for the newly refurbished Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon, into Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and Spanish. The museum attracts a very high percentage of international visitors and four languages have been completed so far.

UK Charity of the Year, fundraising and donations

In May 2019, colleagues voted for the new UK Charity of the Year, the Castle School, which provides for around 200 children aged between two and nineteen, who have an education, health and care plan.

As a state maintained school, budgets are constrained by funding and they have a high demand for places. Donations made by colleagues and the Press will help develop the school’s library, creating an inclusive and accessible environment where reluctant readers can be encouraged to develop a love of reading and of being read to. Engaging with books and with other readers will help students build the reading and communication skills that are so vital for their integration into society. Press support will also provide more therapeutic provision, enhancing the curriculum through the increased use of art, play and drama therapy.

In addition to the £10,000 donation by the Press, colleagues raised more than £2,150 through various activities, including a London to Cambridge bike ride by Press colleagues and Castle teachers. £1,602 of these funds were matched, making a total of £3,766 additional funds for our Charity of the Year.

UK colleagues also raised more than £11,000 for 30 other charities which were important to them for personal reasons, of which c. £8,550 was added in matched funds. Causes benefiting from funds included:

  • Educational charities including Books2Africa, Bridge School (Pakistan), Centre 33, the Kite Trust, Red Balloon and Save the Children.
  • Health charities including the Alzheimers Research UK, Bowl Cancer UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, CoppaFeel, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, MIND, MS Society, Muscular Dystrophy UK and the Rooprai Spinal Trust.
  • Environmental charities including Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary, Fauna and Flora, RSPCA Australia and WWF Koala Crisis.

 The Give as You Earn initiative, through which colleagues give monthly contributions direct from their salary to charity, amounted to £14,050.


In July 2019 colleagues from the New York office once again participated in Operation Backpack, a charity committed to providing school supplies to students living in NYC homeless shelters. Twelve volunteers spent half a day helping to sort and pack some of the 20,000 backpacks the organisation provides to help give these students with a good start to the school year.

New York colleagues support Operation Backpack

In July 2019 the New York Office in partnership with Westchester Community College again provided scholarships for two students from WCC who are participating in a two-week programme of study at Cambridge University.

Westchester Community College scholars

Unfortunately, the final event of the year scheduled for March 2020 had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. This was intended to be an event in the New York office with their charitable partner Pencil, introducing high school juniors and seniors to the world of publishing and helping them develop their college and career readiness skills.  

Book donations

In 2015, the University of Mosul’s Library was destroyed in what UNESCO called “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history”. Nearly 2,200 Press books were donated to Book Aid International’s Mosul Book Bridge initiative and a further 26,673 books were donated to other schools and libraries supported by Book Aid.

Other charities receiving book donations included public libraries in Turkish municipalities supporting education volunteers and disadvantaged schools; Borderline Books which sends books to prisons, ex-offenders, asylum applicants and women’s refuges in the UK; Build on Books which supports children living in poverty in Sierra Leone; and the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign, which provides assistance with housing, healthcare and education to resettled refugee families in Cambridge. 

Book donations 

Book Aid International 28,863

Public Libraries in Kartal municipality 5,000

TEGEV Turkish Education Volunteers 4,582

Public Libraries in Sultanbeyli municipality 3,000

Borderline Books 309

Build on Books 379

Samsun Necati Akcaglilar Anatolian High School 300

Skyline Education Foundation Australia 136

Satang Mongkolsuk Donation Centre 100

Koruncuk Vakfi Foundation 100

Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign 44

Other charities 35

Total 42,848

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