Policy Press

Raising the Nation

How to Build a Better Future for Our Children (and Everyone Else)

By Paul Lindley


Jan 23, 2024


11 hour 55 minutes




Policy Press
Raising the Nation

Children today grow up in an increasingly volatile, complex and uncertain world. Theirs is a generation disempowered from steering their lives while society’s systems are failing to provide the support they need. Yet, a country only prospers when its children – from all walks of life – thrive, meaning that the United Kingdom now faces some consequential choices.

Raising the Nation builds a compelling case showing why we must nurture smart, strong and kind children to one day inherit the stewardship of society. Setting out big public policy ideas, enhanced by contributions from academic and campaigning experts, as well as those with lived experience, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, singer and activist Charlotte Church, and ex-prime minister of Denmark and former CEO of Save the Children International Helle Thorning-Schmidt, this book is a manifesto to deliver our brightest possible future. Reframing political success, it shows why we must prioritise child-centred policies to ensure the future strength of our communities, environment and economy.

"I love Paul’s entrepreneurial approach to re-imagining how to build a better future. He’s created an evidence-led, story-centred, whole system vision that’s packed with ideas and opportunities that policy makers, parents, young people entrepreneurs and anyone who care about our future should seriously embrace!" Ella Goldner, Co- Founder and General Manager, Zinc

"A powerful and inspiring account of why and how we can make this the best country for children to grow up in. A must-read for policy-makers of all political parties." Claire Ainsley, Director of the Center-Left Renewal project at the Progressive Policy Institute and former Labour Party Executive Director. of Policy

"A clarion call to make tomorrow much better for our children, offering evidence, ideas and practical steps that need to be taken urgently. Politicians of all stripes should have this book and the actions on top of their to-do list!" Professor Sir Michael Marmot CH, Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity and author of The Health Gap

“Deeply practical, a route map of where we have gone wrong and what we can put right. It should be required reading for the next government.“ Brendan Cox, founder of the Together coalition

“Makes a compelling case that strong, healthy, confident children are the essence of a thriving nation… a shot in the arm for all who believe this generation holds the key to a better future.” Lisa Nandy MP

“Children are 20% of our population, 100% of our future. This book comprehensively shows how failure to acknowledge that is the biggest missed opportunity.” Tim Loughton, MP, former Minister for Children and co-Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children

"A society’s top priority must be to protect the wellbeing of all its children. I know as my childhood was stolen from me. This book shows how it can be done." Emmanual Jal, ex-child solider, singer and songwriter, peace activist

‘Brings together an astonishing group of experts to paint a picture of how and why we should make our country a better place to be a child. Through data, stories, metaphors and essays, Paul Lindley has created a vision offering radical and challenging ideas for the changes necessary for generations of children to thrive. It all deserves serious consideration.” Naomi Eisenstadt, first Director of Sure Start and former advisor on poverty to the Scottish Government

"Mandela said, ‘Our children are … our greatest asset as a nation.' Paul Lindley uses this to set out the vital regeneration of our children’s future: a brilliant, exciting manifesto for change, a real gift to any political party with vision." Baroness Helena Kennedy KC

“Paul Lindley combines new insight, essays and stories in a compelling agenda for change. Like Thomas Coram 300 years ago, he challenges the great injustices for the next generation and calls upon us all to build a better future for our nation. Reflective, expansive and Inspiring.” Dr Carol Homden CBE, CEO of Coram

Paul Lindley OBE is an award-winning British entrepreneur, social campaigner and best-selling author.

In 2006 he founded Ella’s Kitchen, the UK’s largest baby food brand. In 2018 he was appointed Chair of London’s Child Obesity Taskforce by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and was appointed Chancellor of the University of Reading in 2022.

In 2019 he founded just IMAGINE if… a biennial innovation competition supporting entrepreneurial ideas addressing global challenges.

He is Chair of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK, sits on the board of environmental beer brand Toast Ale and is a Trustee of Sesame Workshop, creators of Sesame Street.

His first book, Little Wins: The Huge Power of Thinking Like a Toddler was published in 2017.


Foreword by Helle Thorning-Schmidt

1. Introduction

2. How did we get here?

3. The early years

4. Play

5. Local spaces

6. Education

7. Health

8. Digital

9. Children society fails most

10. Democracy

11. Voice

12. Variety

13. Well-being

14. A National Children’s Service