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Free books for children charity drive returns to Shropshire leisure centres

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust has announced a second link up with the Children’s Book Project, following a successful partnership with the national charity in 2022 which saw over 1,000 books collected at its centres during last year’s Great British Book Drive.

Jess, Ellis & Nicole at the Quarry in Shrewsbury
Jess, Ellis & Nicole at the Quarry in Shrewsbury

The Children’s Book Project is looking to tackle ‘book poverty’, providing good quality, used books for children under 12 who may not be able to afford a book of their own.  This month, the charity will celebrate gifting 1 million books to children via their Discovery Programme.

Jamie Bryant, Partnership Manager for the trust was delighted with last year’s book drive and is hoping for more of the same.

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“The book drive was such a success in 2022, giving us an easy decision to make this year when the Children’s Book Project asked for further support. It’s such a worthwhile charity and we are very proud to be partnering with them again in 2023 at our centres.

“Last year’s total is going to be tough to beat, but I’m banking on the generosity of our customers. They delivered in 2022, and I’m confident they’ll do so again.

“We will be hosting the book bins at each of our centres from May 29th until June 9th, so if you’re someone with unwanted, good quality children’s books for the under 12s in your home, please pop along to one of our centres, and give the gift of reading.”

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council cabinet member for culture and digital, said:

“Health and wellbeing is not just about physical fitness and activity but about healthy minds too. Having access to a good book and being able to take a few minutes out of our busy lives to read for ourselves or to read a story to young children adds to our mental wellbeing.

“This is an excellent opportunity to have a clear out of old books knowing they are going to a really good cause.”

Kirstin Knell from the Children’s Book Project added:

“After last year’s successful book drive, we are thrilled that once again Shropshire Community Leisure Trust centres have volunteered to collect preloved books from local families.

“This year more than ever, it is sad that books have become a luxury which so many families cannot afford, so we know the local community will understand the value of sorting through their bookshelves and passing on the books that they’ve enjoyed but are happy to send on new adventures.

“We are so grateful for every book donated and we will make sure that they find new homes with children who own few, if any, books of their own.”

Shrewsbury Sports Village, the Quarry Swimming & Fitness Centre, Oswestry Leisure Centre and Market Drayton Swimming & Fitness Centre are operated by Shropshire Community Leisure Trust in partnership with Serco Leisure, on behalf of Shropshire Council.

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