“My mobility scooter will transform my life”

“My mobility scooter will transform my life”

Paul is retired from the print industry and was referred to us by the charity Turn2Us. After hitting a rough patch financially, we have helped him gain his independence. 

Paul chose a mobility scooter to allow him to go to the doctor, optician, collect his prescriptions from the chemist, and shop for food without having to rely on his neighbours to help him.

“I’m absolutely thrilled you’re helping me to buy a mobility scooter,” enthuses Paul. “I’ll be able to retain my independence one hundred percent. In fact, as I’m no longer able to drive, I’d go as far as to say it will transform my life.” 

Paul worked in print for 25 years, starting in a temporary role and ending up as a print finishing supervisor for a company based at Leicester University, printing documents, degrees, and exam papers. 

“It’s been such a refreshing change for someone to lend me a helping hand, not only with the scooter, but also with other things including everyday essentials,” he says. “You’ve been great the way you’ve helped me and I’d definitely recommend you to other people finding things tough.”

If you or someone you know may be in need of practical and emotional support, call our team on 01293 542820 or email support@theprintingcharity.org.uk

Debt advice and financial support services

Debt advice and financial support services

The festive season can be a hard time of year when it comes to money. There can be a lot of pressure to overspend, but you don’t want to be left in financial difficulty.

Always know your budget

Creating a budget is a great way to plan how much you can spend. Citizens Advice has a free budgeting tool to help you see what you are earning and how much you can spend without going into the red. Understanding what government support is available to you is also a good step to take when looking at your income. 

Getting out of debt

Knowing your budget can also help you to make a payment plan for any outstanding debt. If you are struggling with overdue payments, Stepchange offers tailored debt advice based on an assessment of your finances.

There’s also the Money Advice Service, offering free and impartial advice on debt and working out the true cost of borrowing money. They even have resources to help you cut costs on bills, and their free money health check tool can help you to know where you stand with your finances.

Support from The Printing Charity

Money worries can feel overwhelming. Our helpline advisers are always here, and can offer information and advice to help you move forward with a plan. See how you can access the free service – they may be able to suggest something you haven’t thought of. 

If you are struggling financially and have a print connection, see if you may be eligible for our support. Contact our welfare team on support@theprintingcharity.org.uk 

The Annual Luncheon 2020

The Annual Luncheon 2020

It comes as no surprise that we have had to cancel this year’s Annual Luncheon. The event, which would have been the 193rd, is a cherished opportunity to raise a glass to those working within the industry.  

This cancellation becomes the second time the Annual Luncheon has not been held, the first being in 1939 during the onset of the Second World War. With such a long and rich history, we thought it would be apt to take a look at luncheons past, and in our digging found some surprising facts about the annual event. 

The first celebration in 1828 was originally an evening affair known as an Annual Festival. Back then the charity was called the Printers’ Pension Society and the event raised £310 16 Shillings.

It’s clearly always been a special event, as demonstrated by the choice of London venues over the years, including Grosvenor House in Park Lane, Vintners’ Hall, and Stationers’ Hall where it is currently held. 

Esteemed speakers and guests

Each year someone from within the industry is invited to speak, and the task has been given to an impressive list of names including members of the Royal Family, politicians, prime ministers, newspaper owners, and editors. 

Charles Dickens, our President in 1843 and speaker at that year’s Festival Dinner, extolled the printer’s role: “The printer is a faithful servant, not only of those connected with the business, but of the public at large and has, therefore, when labouring under infirmity or disease, an especial claim on all for support. Without claiming for him the whole merit of the work produced by his skill, labour, endurance and intelligence; without it what would be the state of the world at large?”

Guests have been no less impressive and include King George V, the grandfather of our Royal Patron, Her Majesty The Queen. Her father, King George VI, also attended in 1922 when he was the Duke of York. Winston Churchill was a guest at our Festival Dinner in 1934. 

Continuing the celebration

Had it been held, the Luncheon this year would have celebrated the fantastic applicants and winners of this year’s Print Futures Award, and our continued support to beneficiaries who need it this year more than ever. 2020 was also the year we launched our long awaited helpline to reach out further to people in need within our industry.  

Although it’s a shame we cannot come together this year, we hope that the Annual Luncheon will be back in 2021 with an event to match its illustrious history. Until then we wish to thank our partners, friends and supporters for another year continuing the great work of our industry.

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Get into Book Publishing with New Writing North

Get into Book Publishing with New Writing North

We’re pleased to be partnering with New Writing North to sponsor their upcoming workshop, Introduction to Book Publishing.

This free, online workshop for young people will introduce jobs in the publishing industry to those interested in a career in books. Produced by New Writing North and publishing professional Heather O’Connell, the workshop will aim to give practical information about the training needed, the variety of roles available to work in, and advice on how to find jobs in the industry.

Sophie Kirby, Head of Education and Partnerships, says “we’re pleased to be sponsoring the Get into Book Publishing Event, offering young people valuable insight into what’s involved when considering publishing as a career and how to navigate the industry. We champion activities that promote diversity in the sector and hope the course will help those from underrepresented geographies to access a publishing career pathway by sharing knowledge, creating a network and highlighting key skills employers are seeking.”

Both sessions are free to attend and will take place on Zoom across the 18th and 19th November. The first afternoon will give an overview of the UK book publishing industry, whilst the second will showcase the many different roles within publishing and where to look for a first job, work experience or internship.

Visit the New Writing North website to see the full schedule and register for one or both sessions on Eventbrite.

Advice for landing a fulfilling career in publishing

Advice for landing a fulfilling career in publishing

Print Futures Award winner Emma Sheffield, Assistant Editor at Oxford University Press, tells us how she got into her career and how she is using her award to help shape her future.

How did you get into the industry? 

It took me roughly a year after graduating to get my first permanent job in publishing. Prior to that, I had focused on acquiring skills from different jobs and work experience so that I felt confident in my applications. In my second year of university, I undertook a two week placement at Vintage, Penguin Random House which was my first experience of a publishing house and it was fantastic. 

After a stint of admin work at a university, combined with a remote volunteer job for a small indie Press in Nottingham and editorial internship working alongside a Professor, I was successful in interview for a marketing administrator job in the trade department of Oxford University Press. It certainly wasn’t my “dream” job initially (having always wanted to be an editor) but it was a fantastic and very challenging (in a good way) start to publishing!

What appealed to you about the industry you are in? 

The first thing that stood out to me when I was at Vintage Penguin Random House is that everyone loved their job and it really was like being in a dream office. Of course not all publishing houses are as “exotic” as Penguin, but the one undeniable quality of the industry is that everyone loves books. However, having grown up reading and loving literature, the main allure for me was having the opportunity to help craft a novel or get it on the shelf.

What does your role involve? 

I’m currently Assistant Editor at OUP. My role requires me to work closely with authors on developing manuscripts by conducting market research studies, putting titles through proposals meetings, and preparing and delivering the manuscript to production. I also copyedit, proofread, write copy, draft contracts and manage stock of published books.  In my department, which publishes law textbooks, we also have an annual sales conference where I plan the strategy for each list and present to Sales how we should pitch the books. The responsibility of the role is extremely varied; as an Editor you’re the only person to be “in touch” with the book from beginning (acquisition) to end (publication).

What is your award going to allow you to do? 

I’m going to be doing two professional editorial courses with the Publishing Training Centre – one in copy-editing and proofreading, and another in rewriting and substantive editing. These courses will strengthen my employability for any trade publishing roles in the future while also l making me a more skilled editor now.

What would you advise other young people looking to get into the same sector? 

Definitely to start relevant work experience as early as possible – this is one of the most important things in order to get into the industry, more so than a degree (which aren’t required in many entry level publishing jobs now). The work experience doesn’t have to be directly in a publishing house, so long as it provides administration experience, some database management skills, or working in offices and all the practical skills that come with that. The other biggie is being aware of the book industry and latest publications and trends. I recommend joining Twitter and following publishing houses, book charities and industry professionals. You should also read The Bookseller, and frequent bookshops as much as you can to understand what is “big” and how it is being publicised. 

Where do you turn for support in your career? 

First and foremost to my two close friends who work at OUP and are a little further ahead in their careers than me – they are bastions of knowledge, supportive and helpful when I need inspiration or a morale boost. Secondly, societies and publishing bloggers who I came across on Twitter early on in my publishing career – they offer advice and are lovely, helpful people with knowledge of useful contacts and companies.

What are your aspirations for the future of your career?

My main goal is to work in trade editorial or be a Literary Agent. I like being in the mix of the publishing hub, getting to know people across the industry and attending events and conferences. Most importantly though, I enjoy working closely on manuscripts, being in sociable and lively spaces, and negotiating/pitching and talking passionately about books. Any job that has these qualities would be a dream.

If you’re 18-30 and looking to develop your skills for career progression, our Print Futures Awards could be for you. Awards are closed for 2020 but find out about the 2021 awards by signing up to our newsletter.

John’s story of a life in print

John’s story of a life in print

Having worked in the print sector for over 40 years, John’s working life mirrors the changes the sector has undergone in that time

At the start of his career, John thought that printing would be an interesting choice and started as an apprentice straight from school, training on Heidelberg presses. There was no minimum wage in those days and he recalls he started on £2.50 per week. He realises now that on that pay he must have relied on his parents to support him.

During his five-year apprenticeship he trained as a printing press operator and did occasional composing too. Once qualified, he had to move for jobs at printing companies in England and Wales and, in the 1980s, went on to retrain on lithographic presses.

Supported by The Printing Charity

Now retired, the charity is helping John and his wife with financial assistance. A one-off grant has also helped with house repairs to replace a porch, and to fix the lock on the front door to make it more secure.

John and his wife say: “The charity’s help is fantastic and an absolute godsend helping us to keep going. We’re both very appreciative of the assistance and couldn’t believe it when we received a totally unexpected fuel subsidy from the charity to help with our heating bills during the ‘Beast from the East’ winter.”

Our friendly team is on hand at the end of the phone to help you and your family when life gets tough. Contact us for practical, emotional, and financial support by emailing support@theprintingcharity.org.uk or call us on 01293 542 820.