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

Community Engagement
May 2018 – April 2019

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.

We look forward to hearing more from you in 2019!

Volunteering hours: 194 people gave 937 hours

Financial donations:  £61,078

Book donations: 46,078

Work experience and internship placements: 57


Colleagues in Brazil filled 230 Christmas bags with toys, clothes, books, toiletries and candy in support of Grupo Amar. The charity provides a list of names and ages of registered children within the community and colleagues filled bags which were given to the children the week before Christmas.

Colleagues in Brazil with Christmas bags for Grupo Amar
Colleagues in Brazil with Christmas bags for Grupo Amar



Colleagues in Iberia began a new initiative to support the Red Cross, giving Christmas presents to children in difficult situations. Collection points were created around the country, where books and toys could be donated. The office aims to continue supporting this initiative and other local charities during the year.


In August, the India office donated £6,000 to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, to support people affected by heavy floods which destroyed lives and homes in Kerela.

In March, colleagues from the IOC, supported a family in a low-income area, to help their four children be admitted to primary school. The parents are daily wage workers who are unable to read or write, and so were unaware of the joining process. Colleagues helped arrange for ‘Aadhar’ ID cards, stationery and school bags. They and the IOC team intend to follow the children’s progress.

They said: ‘Money is not the only thing required to perform your duty towards society. Sometimes, it’s just your willingness and dedication that can help.’

Colleagues with children in remote village of Chintalcheru
Colleagues with children in remote village of Chintalcheru

In March, colleagues organised an Infant Care Awareness Programme in the remote village of Chintalcheru in Sangareddy District, with the help of India’s Regional Revenue Department. They explained that the rural health care sector does not provide a wide range of quality healthcare for infants, and they wanted to do something to support them.


In July, the Manila team signed an agreement with the Don Bosco Technical College. The college runs a technical-vocational program that takes in about 160 students under partial and full scholarship schemes. Their students come from disadvantaged families and communities all over the country. Through this partnership, Cambridge Manila donated thirty desktop units and set up their computer laboratory. Colleagues gave basic computing classes and provided soft skills training on writing CVs, preparing for interviews, and communication skills.

Colleagues sign the agreement at Don Bosco, Manila
Colleagues sign the agreement at Don Bosco, Manila


In November, the ELT Manila team visited Gentle Hands Orphanage in Quezon City, Philippines. Gentle Hands’ vision is ‘to be a center for rescue and healing of children in crisis’ and their mission is ‘to provide family-style care and hope for children who have experienced trauma’.

ELT Manila Team with children from Gentle Hands Orphanage
ELT Manila Team with children from Gentle Hands Orphanage

In December, the Manila Education team supported a program which provides meals for street children and adults along Makati Avenue before the start of the Christmas holidays. Funds were raised through the Monday English Speaking Day, where all colleagues in Education donated Php 5 if they used Filipino or Tagalog instead of English. This raised around Php 3000 in total (c. £50).

The central QA team conducted a free one-day software training seminar to about 400 graduating IT students of Cavite State University.

In February, colleagues donated goods including rice, groceries, towels, blanket, clothes and toys to provide support to 800 families who were victims of a fire in Reximo Ignacio’s home town.

South Africa

In South Africa every year on Nelson Mandela's birthday there is a call to spend 67 minutes doing something to give back to the community, in honour of the 67 years that Mandela dedicated to fighting for freedom. The African Branch and twenty of their suppliers helped the charity Rise against Hunger to pack food for the disadvantaged.


In June, the Thailand office donated books to the Stang Mongkolsuk Donation Center, a library that provides books to poor schools.

In November, 11 colleagues volunteered at Paper Ranger making handmade notebooks from A4 recycled paper to give to disadvantage children. They also donated 3,300 THB (c. £80) worth of Cambridge dictionaries to the foundation.


126 colleagues gave c. 800 hours to various causes.

71 colleagues in Legal and Business Affairs, Academic Journals, Academic Editorial, Education Reform and ELT Production spent a day each volunteering with the Wildlife Trust. Their activities included hayraking, coppicing, tree guard removal and bird hide maintenance, all of which have a positive impact on local wildlife.

‘A few people were nervous before the day because they weren’t ‘outdoorsy’ and didn’t know what to expect but once we got there and met the guides, everyone worked brilliantly together – it couldn’t have gone any better. It was definitely an amazing way to build up team morale. 10/10, would recommend.’

Education Reform volunteer

Legal and Business Affairs
Legal and Business Affairs
ELT Production
ELT Production


Work with charities

We concluded our two year partnership with Rowan Humberstone, our UK Charity of the Year between 2017 and 2019. During this period, Rowan received £31,422 through colleague fundraising and Press donations.

Hetti Wood, Communications Ambassador at Rowan, said:

'Over the last two years we have built a strong partnership with Cambridge University Press as well as a friendship. Nothing has been too much and the support from everyone has been wonderful. We have been blown away by the amount of fundraising that's taken place to boost the total, with people taking time out of their busy schedules to help us. Every penny will make such a difference to Rowan and all the work we do day-to-day. Our newly transformed performing space is used every day in music and in drama, making a huge difference to our student artists and adding to their experience.'

‘Visiting Rowan made a big impression on me – the work that the tutors there do is truly life-changing for their students, providing them with valuable skills and opportunities, and having fun at the same time. They are a charity which we should be proud to be associated with.’

Press Graduate volunteer

The Grads visited Rowan Humberstone
The Grads visited Rowan Humberstone


Charities general

  • Colleague fundraising  £17,002
  • Press Matching  £9,154
  • Give As You Earn and Change for Charity  £13,347
  • An additional £2,000 was raised by the ELT Marketing World Cup campaign, for United Through Sport
  • £6000 donation supporting people affected by the Kerala Flood

Colleagues in the New York Office have formed a new Community Engagement group. 43 colleagues gave nearly 200 hours to various community projects between January and April.

In July, the Press sponsored two student scholarships at Westchester Community College, to attend a summer study abroad program at the University of Cambridge. Selected in a highly competitive process, these scholars represent the best of the college's Honors program and the students were thrilled to be heading to the UK. In Cambridge, the students had a tour of the Press and the Bookshop.

One of the students who was sponsored by the Press, said:

'I am grateful for this scholarship because I am being granted a wonderful opportunity to study abroad. By participating in this program I am setting a good example for my younger siblings to follow and I am making my parents proud.'

In August, fourteen colleagues from the New York office helped Volunteers of America who run Operation Backpack, filling backpacks with supplies for homeless children in New York. This initiative provided school supplies and backpacks to around 18,000 children. It was also a great teambuilder for colleagues from various departments, spending time together for a good cause.

New York colleagues volunteering at Operation Backpack
New York colleagues volunteering at Operation Backpack

In March, 29 colleagues hosted a work aspiration event with PENCIL. 60% of the students had never been to a corporate office before. Colleagues gave a presentation on the publishing process and students attended networking, CV creation and mock interview sessions to help them build confidence and gain invaluable skills.

‘What a great opportunity to expand their horizons. I think this will help shape their goals and vision for high school and beyond in big ways.’

New York volunteer at PENCIL event

Work aspiration event with PENCIL in New York
Work aspiration event with PENCIL in New York


Book Donation

Total: 46,078 books were given to various causes:

Bookaid International    33,048
Turkish Edu Volunteers    4582
Pro Mundo    2923
Turkey Public school library, Bursa    2216
IBEU Brazil    2000
UFRJ Rio University Library    538
Merkez Mimar Sinan Ortaokulu - Zonguldak    302
Borderline Books    150
Şehit Uzman Çavuş Saadettin Yazici ortaokulu - Sivas    88
Various    58
Mataram University    56
Thailand PaperRanger    40
Thailand Ploenchit    40
Royal Trinity Hospice    37
Total    46,078

Brazil: 538 books were donated to Museum Nacional UFRJ, Universidade Fedeal do Rio de Janeiro, replacing those that were lost during a fire at the museum.

Thailand: The Thailand office donated 40 copies of Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary with CD-ROM Asian Edition (worth £880) to the Ploenchit Fair, an event that the office supports annually. The British Community at the Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) has been organizing Ploenchit Fair to raise money supporting many Thai charities for 60 years. The office also donated 3,300 THB worth of Cambridge dictionaries to Paper Ranger, supporting disadvantage children.

Turkey: 390 books were donated to support Merkez Mimar Sinan Ortaokulu, Zonguldak and Şehit Uzman Çavuş Saadettin Yazıcı ortaokulu, Sivas, very poor, rural state schools in Turkey. These schools want to give their students the best chance to learn English by providing more English classes and they need resources to support this aim.

UK: Law textbooks worth £550 were donated to the recently opened library and study centre at HMP Warren Hill, as part of the Learning Together prison initiative with the University of Cambridge.

Work experience and internships

55 colleagues gave 225 hours to help local students with work aspiration. Volunteering included mentoring, careers fairs and courses, enterprise days and interview workshops
UK Work Experience 30
UK Interns 11
South Africa Interns 12
US Interns 4
Total placements 57

57 students participated in placements in South Africa, the UK and the US.

Four of the UK interns were recruited in partnership with Creative Access, as part of the Press’s work to improve Inclusivity.

Numbers of students joining us for work experience have increased, 30 students from local students have taken part in work experience.

‘It’s been the most incredible six weeks, jam packed with such amazing meetings and talks. Everyone was amazing at making us feel at home at the Press as well as in Cambridge. I feel incredibly confident about my future in publishing’

Khadija, intern

I was able to gain an improved understanding of the collaborative and transparent approach between different departments on both a local and global scale’.

Sophie, Customer Service Work Experience Student

It has been eye-opening to see just how much goes on in the business, and how many different roles there are across the departments. All of us have learnt incredibly useful and transferable skills that we will be able to take with us to whatever career we go into, publishing or otherwise. 

Sarah, Communications Work Experience Student

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