Amazon has donated backpacks filled with back-to-school essentials to 13,500 school children across the UK, helping to ensure that students from low-income backgrounds can start school ready to learn.

As part of Amazon’s Global Month of Volunteering, Amazon employees took part in the back-to-school campaign with events taking place across 20 Amazon fulfilment centres and three of our corporate offices in Edinburgh, Manchester and London. Hundreds of schools across the UK, many nominated by employees working in our fulfilment centres, benefited from the donation of backpacks filled with items based on the schools’ needs, including notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers, lunchboxes, calculators and water bottles.

Children and teacher pose with backpacks donated by Amazon volunteers
Amazon volunteers pose with backpacks donated to children ahead of the new school term
Volunteers during Amazon's Global month of volunteering 2023

"A big thank you from our school community to the Amazon team for their generous donation of back-to-school supplies," said Helen Sharples, Director of Resources, Dean Trust Rose Bridge secondary school in Wigan. "The cost of returning to school this year has hit many families hard so we're incredibly grateful for the support."

In 2022, Amazon employees took part in a similar campaign ahead of the new school year, with 9,500 students benefitting from the backpack donations.

Amazon is teaming up with Save the Children UK to provide for even more pupils

Amazon employees across the UK help community groups to address issues from climate change and educational inequality, to food insecurity and disaster relief.

This year, we are also working in partnership with Save the Children to deliver backpacks to the network of schools they support in low-income communities throughout the UK.

“Poverty is a key factor which impacts on children’s education outcomes - in the UK, children from lower income families are 50% less likely to do as well at school as their classmates,” said Gavin Benn, UK Impact at Save the Children. “By ensuring all children have everything they need to participate fully at school, we can help to level the playing field. This is where the back-to-school packs donated by Amazon come in and Save the Children UK help to get the resources directly to families who need them.”

How Amazon employees drive and support education initiatives

As well as providing support for schools through backpack donations, Amazon employees are offering live, virtual career talks to UK classrooms through the company’s year-round Class Chats programme, part of Amazon Future Engineer. Employees working in a range of jobs at Amazon, from technical roles, to marketing, TV production, fashion, and more, will volunteer to share insights from their education, career journey, and their current role with students, helping to expand their horizons about future job opportunities.

More than 250 employees also took part in Teach First’s Run the River 2023 this month, helping the charity raise money to improve the life chances and choices for children experiencing poverty. Amazon has worked in partnership with Teach First since 2019, to help bring skilled computing teachers to schools serving disadvantaged communities across the UK.

Amazon volunteers pose in front of Tower Bridge in London
Amazon volunteers during the Global month of volunteering

“One of the best things about working at Amazon is our people and the way they show up to help. Volunteering gives us the opportunity to use our skills, passion and business capabilities for good,” said Niki Ward, Employee Volunteering Lead, Amazon in the Community. “By packing backpacks, or sharing careers advice through Class Chats, our employees are not only doing something tangible to give back to our community, they are also providing support and relief to our charity partners who can use their time to focus on the children they serve.”

The Global Month of Volunteering education initiatives build on Amazon’s year-round programmes that support the education and skills development of students across the UK. Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s childhood-to-career programme, works to increase access to computer science education for students from underserved and underrepresented communities across the UK. From initiatives such as Virtual School Trips, free Python coding courses, and bursaries for women students from low-income households studying computer science, the company is passionate about breaking down the barriers to opportunity and preparing students for the future world of work.

Read more to find out how Amazon is positively impacting the communities in which it operates.