Volunteer Reading Help, which was established in 1973, has placed 400 out of a target of 500 reading mentors in schools since the Get London Reading Campaign was launched last June.
Jason Hill, the charity’s first full-time appointed marketing and comms officer, said the campaign has enabled the charity to set its most ambitious targets yet, of helping 10,000 children by 2016, up from 5,661 last year.
He said: ‘The Evening Standard campaign is a massive shot in the arm in terms of profile raising.
‘It’s a "Big Society" idea, where we are putting trust into people who are prepared to use their time for the benefit of others. It also ties in with London Mayor Boris Johnson looking at the links between literacy and the riots.’
The agency has been charged with a project-based media relations campaign to raise the profile of chief executive Sue Porto, to tie in with its annual donors and volunteers' reception in the House of Lords on 25 June. The work may extend to the charity’s 40th anniversary next year.
Hill was previously PR and campaigns officer with the Royal London Society for Blind People, where he worked on a campaign to support Katie Price, whose son Harvey was the victim of a joke by comedian Frankie Boyle.
Some of the charity’s 2,000 volunteers have been in place for up to 30 years, while the Get London Reading Campaign has attracted the support of Prime Minister David Cameron and Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw, who said it should be a template for the rest of the country.