Home About us Our people Our Royal Patron and friends

Our Royal Patron and friends

Our Royal Patron and high profile friends help us advocate for books, raise our profile and reach new book lovers.

Her Majesty the Queen

Her Majesty The Queen became Book Aid International’s Patron in May 2022. Her Majesty is very well known for her personal love of reading, for championing the importance of books and for supporting causes promoting reading and literacy for all.

Her Majesty took on the Patronage from His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, who was our Patron from 1966 until his death in 2021.

I am delighted to have become Patron of Book Aid International.  Its work is truly life-changing:  giving millions of people globally access to brand new books, full of vibrant images and fresh ideas, offering them the magical experience of reading and the remarkable opportunities that come from a love of books.    

Our Vice Patron: Lord Boateng

The Rt Hon the Lord Boateng, PC DL was born in London but spent much of his childhood in Ghana, West Africa. A civil liberties lawyer, he was one of the UKs first Black MPs (1987-2005) and became the first Black Cabinet Minister (2002 -2005) serving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury until he left Parliament to become the UKs High Commissioner to South Africa (2005-2009).

Ennobled in 2010 he serves on numerous commercial and philanthropic boards with a focus on Africa, youth, health and economic development. He is also the Chancellor of the University of Greenwich and Vice President of the London Library.

Our friends

We are supported by many prominent authors and high profile friends. We asked a few of them to describe why they support our work:

Elif Shafak

Book Aid International offers a balm of hope and humanity in deeply troubled times. Maybe books cannot fight against guns or bombs, but they can do something incredibly powerful: they help us realise that we are not alone. That we are not forgotten or forsaken. That our voices matter. That we have brothers and sisters, we have kindred spirits all across the world. Inside the pages of a book we find the whole humanity. 

Ben Okri

I support Book Aid International for many reasons. The most important of which is that they send books to people who need them most around the world. There are people all over the world in difficult circumstances and books offer escape, offer inspiration, offer hope, offer possibilities. I think books are a great force for magic and for good in this world and I think the charity Book Aid International is invaluable in the current climate in which we live all across the world. So, I support them richly and I hope you do too.

Dame Judy Dench

I still remember the books I used to read as a little girl. They made me the person I am today. I think all children should know the joy that books can bring. Please join me in supporting this wonderful charity to send books to those who need them most. A donation of just £6 a month could provide 36 books a year – each one can mean so much. 

Sir Michael Palin, CBE 

As a writer and traveller, I think everyone should be able to open a window on the world through books. It’s incredible how lives can be transformed through access to books. 

One of the things I’ve found on my journeys is the thirst to learn more about the world, and this is one sure way to help people get more out of life. Thanks to the Reverse Book Club members, Book Aid International sends around one million brand new books to libraries around the world every year. 

Rageh Omaar

I have seen Book Aid International’s work up close. I can vouch for it. That’s why I’m urging you to donate, and tell all your friends and family to do the same.  

Mariella Frostrup

Books aren’t just about the story, though that is imperative. Books actually open up worlds for you, they teach you about empathy and they give you an emotional vocabulary. That’s why I’m a big supporter of Book Aid International.

Photo of author Kit de Waal taken by Paul Crowther

Kit de Waal

Reading opens up worlds, ideas, other people’s lives. It’s the best way of walking in someone else’s footsteps, of being there, of imagining another life for yourself – on the moon, in the past, in the future.  Stories also have the power to comfort us in times of stress or distress, to make us laugh and wonder.

Book Aid International make sure some of the most vulnerable people have access to books and reading, something many of us take for granted. I’m very happy to support them in this important work.

More about our people

Our staff

We employ a team of 29 dedicated staff, including two programme team members who are based in Nairobi.

Read more

Our Board of Trustees

We are governed by our Board of Trustees, all of whom bring the skills and experience to help us thrive.

Read more