Everyone loves a story with a happy ending. And thanks to Nailsworth Rotary, Stroud district has just received 500 of them.
For the second Christmas running, Nailsworth Rotarians have joined with the town’s Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, raising £4,000 to buy books for young families using Stroud District Foodbank.
Two hundred children aged six and under have been given Julia Donaldson and Victoria Sandøy’s picture book, The Christmas Pine; while 300 aged from six to 12 received an anthology of stories from all over the world. But, shh! All books have been wrapped ready for Christmas in eco-friendly paper – donated by Waitrose – thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers.
“These are absolutely beautiful hardbacks,” said Sheila King of Nailsworth Rotary. “We wanted them to be books the children could enjoy and treasure.
“We know from reactions last year that families were delighted to receive their gifts.”
In addition, six children between six weeks old and 13 years, staying with their mums at Stroud Women’s Refuge, will be given new books.
This is the third time Nailsworth Rotarians have teamed up with the Foodbank, including once in the summer holidays: fundraisers prompted by the first lockdown.
“We were very concerned about children when schools were closed during the first lockdown,” Sheila added. “So we began fundraising by collecting the money we would normally have spent on our monthly club dinners.
“Since then, the appeal has broadened, and people have been very generous. We simply couldn’t have done it without the help and support of Hereward [Corbett, owner of Yellow-Lighted]. We’re also grateful to the Foodbank, who have made this possible.”
Donations from the public were boosted by substantial funds from two charitable trusts.
“What’s more, a kind member of Box community paid for our hire of Box Village Hall, where 12 of us wrapped 400 books in three hours! The team included two Nailsworth ladies, who had written notes with their original donations asking if they could help.
“The remainder of the books were piled into cars and wrapped in private homes.”
Nor is that the final chapter. All parties are keen to do further ‘book’ fundraising.
“One of our donors called these books ‘Food for the soul’. While families need to be properly nourished as a priority – which the Foodbank is wonderfully helping with – we also want children to experience the joy of reading,” Sheila said.
You can find out more about Nailsworth Rotary at www.facebook.com/RCN2007;