The Book Trade Charity (BTBS) 
- formerly The Book Trade Benevolent Society - is the Support Charity for the UK book industry.

We provide Housing for a wide range of ages, from new entrants to the industry through to retired colleagues, at Kings Langley, Hertfordshire & Whetstone London N20.

Grants, for welfare purposes, to help people in difficult personal circumstances, and for new and prospective entrants to the trade through two schemes - Interns Support, and 'Entry In To The Book Trade' to help overcome barriers to entry, particularly where there are financial constraints.  The latter schemes are particularly for entrants from diverse backgrounds, supporting the industry's efforts to encourage diversity and promote inclusivity.

Areas in which we can assist:

Critical Illness

We have experience of and are here to support individuals and families through critical illnesses. We also provide support for people looking after partners with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Skills for Life

Whether it’s support with re-training after redundancy, or assistance with an e-learning course, we’re here to help people access and regain employment. We provide funding support for careers guidance that helps people make the right learning, career and life choices.

Social Welfare

We are here to help and the requests we get are wide ranging; from emergency payments for household repairs through to subsidies for those on low incomes. We recently purchased an electric scooter for a former publisher, housebound through critical illness, and provided a security deposit for a bookshop worker needing to move flats. We want to help, so just ask.


The Retreat in Kings Langley, and Bookbinders Cottages at Whetstone, London N20 are exceptional residential facilities for people who have worked, or are currently still working, in the book trade. Residents live comfortably within a community of like-minded people who share a common work experiences.

Application Forms

Please feel free to complete and return one of our grant forms or call us to have a chat about the possible options

Support for Young People

We recognise the need to bring talented younger people into the industry who might otherwise (for financial or other reasons) be excluded, to ensure the industry’s future development and success, in the light of continuous technological change. We have initiated programmes of support aimed at new entrants to the trade. 
With funds provided by the merger with Matthew Hodder Charitable Trust, we are able to support those seeking employment in the Book Trade, by covering interview costs: such as travel, subsistence or overnight accommodation, primarily for people under 30 in financial need.  We can also support younger people undertaking education and training courses which will lead to a career in the industry, such as post-graduate degrees in Publishing, or courses in bookbinding.  Usually these will be support with living costs rather than tuition fees, but we have also helped with membership fees (such as for the Society of Young Publishers) and other related costs to help potential trade entrants.

Ms B was a bright and enthusiastic graduate from the north of England keen to break into the Book Trade. She was offered a two-week work placement with a prestigious London publishing house, but didn’t think she could take up the offer because she couldn’t afford to stay in London for the duration of the placement. BTBS invited her to stay in their Guest Bungalow for two weeks and gave her a grant of £400 to cover her travel and living costs. “This particular programme recognises that it is difficult for young people to get a foot on the ladder in today’s rapidly-changing industry and we will be delighted if our assistance can help overcome some basic obstacles.” David Hicks – Chief Executive.

Applications will be considered for: The cost of attending interviews, particularly but not exclusively in London eg travel, subsistence, overnight accommodation and appropriate clothing. Applicants will normally be under 30 years of age, resident in the UK and applying for jobs or internships within the UK Book Trade, in publishing primarily, but also within bookselling, wholesaling, and allied trades, including literary agencies etc. as well as bookbinding or conservation. Applicants will need to demonstrate financial need and for applications to be considered we need the following information:

  • Name

  • Address

  • Email

  • Telephone:

  • Bank details (Sort code and a/c number) and two most recent bank statements

  • Proof of eligibility (e.g. offer letter)

  • Date of interview

We recognise that applications for some costs, particularly travel costs for interviews, may need to be processed and remitted quickly and the cooperation of applicants in enabling this will be expected and appreciated.


For paid internships of up to 6 months within the Book Trade additional funds can be released to cover costs including: travel, subsistence, rent and general living costs. Supporting Internships in the Book Trade, also funded through the resources in the Matthew Hodder Fund, is aimed at encouraging talented younger people into the Book Trade. The scheme will cover those in paid internships who need extra support to afford these opportunities offered within the Book Trade, with travel, accommodation and living costs. The grant will be paid for a maximum of six months. The scheme is normally available for under 30’s, who are resident in the UK, applying for a job in the UK Book Trade, in publishing, bookselling or with literary agencies. BTBS will welcome applications either by the applicants or from companies, trade bodies or others acting on behalf of the applicant. We will need:

  • Name

  • Address

  • Email

  • Telephone:

  • Bank details (Sort code and a/c number)

  • Proof of eligibility (e.g. Internship offer letter)

  • Dates of the Internship

Ms C was working for six months as an intern for a publishing firm in London, but struggling to cope on the minimum wage. BTBS was able to supplement her income with a grant of £300 per month for the duration of the internship. Since completing her internship, Ms C has secured a permanent marketing job in the Book Trade. “This innovative project deserves support from the trade and we are delighted that the close relationship between MHCT and BTBS, leading to the merger, has enabled this programme to get off the ground; we are sure it will be to the benefit of many young people, and to the trade itself.” Tom Biggs-Davison, former-Chairman MHCT