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Our story

Rocket Ahead is the brainchild of the founder of the Bright, a global agency that's been nurturing artists and authors since 2003.  The Bright Agency is involved in every aspect of the publishing process. So we know first-hand just how enriching, current, engaging, informative and inspiring books are today. We also appreciate the difference they can make to a child’s engagement in education. But the tragedy is that books do not always reach the readers who need them most -sometimes because they are simply too expensive to buy or because parents are not aware of them.

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It's disheartening to witness the brilliance, care, and thought that goes into these books, knowing that only a small fraction of children has access to them.
The uncertainty of affordability for parents remains a huge obstacle when it comes to levelling up. Making inclusive titles more accessible to all children, regardless of background or financial status, must be a priority. Only then can we begin to level the playing field and give every child a fair shot at success. 

Vicky Willden Lebrecht
Founder & CEO The Bright Agency

When the global pandemic hit in 2020, our founder Vicki’s husband Shaun was critically ill in hospital with Covid. When his recovery looked uncertain, Vicki’s compulsion was to ensure that both their lives had to make a positive difference. A teacher told her about students stuck at home with no books and whose education and mental health was suffering due to isolation. Vicki partnered with several schools from low-income areas and donated all the books from The Bright Emporium. Rocket Ahead reading was created. 

As Rocket evolved we knew this was not just about getting books into the hands of children, but also about empowering their parents and working with the school to make this opportunity meaningful to all.

How Bright can help

The Bright Agency has played an important role over the past 20 years in producing 1000’s of children’s books, distributed around the world to young readers.

The same team is driven to give access and opportunity to the demographic in England that have been a lot less fortunate. Due to social deprivation these children have been locked out of the book buying demographic.

We hope by exposing books to this demographic it will secure a new generation of readers to the publishing industry, ensuring its longevity in a changing market, and raising the number of well read and educated people with more oppertunites to lead successful and happy lives. Publishing relevant, important, and current content remains the core of great publishing and a needed resource in any society and with an access to all.

A deep-rooted understanding of the dynamics within the industry. We work closely with publishers and have deep knowledge of the award-winning and bestselling books and the selections that will make the most impact on young people’s lives.  

Purchasing power: Our long-standing experience of working within the publishing industry will assist us in negotiating the best deals in buying and distributing books. 

Strong alignment to live social issues. We respect enormously the care, talent and thought publishers put into tackling challenging subjects like ‘growth mindset’ and gender equality. We are passionate about making this good work go further and getting these titles into the hands that need them most.

The Bright Agency is uniquely positioned to create a grounds well to inspire and attract the ambitions of new and diverse young authors and illustrators to an industry they previously would not of known was for them.

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If you can run a profitable company its your duty to use your skills, experience, contacts, to create a self liquidating vehicle to overcome some of the challenges in your sector

Vicki Willden Lebrecht Founder & CEO The Bright Agency

Meet the founders

Vicki Willden-Lebrecht

Vicki sees potential in everyone, everywhere. That’s why she founded The Bright Agency in 2003, nurturing artists and empowering them to carve out successful futures, doing what they love.

Recognising the huge disparity between the available opportunities for children across the UK, and that the books she worked on were so important to the eco- system of learning and getting ahead she realised she could use her entrepreneurial expertise to ensure the industry she is in can enrich the lives of

All young people too, not just those who can afford to buy books. By encouraging children to discover new interests through non-fiction, she believes they’ll uncover incredible potential within themselves, become dedicated readers and have a happier and more fulfilled life.

Shaun Baddeley

Shaun fully appreciates how access to education correlates to success in later life.  After attending a major public school he then served for four years an officer in the army. This was followed by a period spent in high profile positions in the securitisation sector of  banking industry.  Following a life-changing illness in 2020, Shaun decided to alter the trajectory of his career completely, leaving commercial banking to focus on helping those less fortunate than himself. Using his experience in strategy, he hopes to break down barriers and drive equitable outcomes for under privileged children across the UK. With strong connections in the banking and business worlds he is well placed to do this and recognises that it is the responsibility of the privileged to put something back in helping to level up society.