Redcar GET Free Books
Global Educational Trust Redcar
The TUA has enabled The Global Educational Trust to set up a number of GET Free Books shops throughout the UK. http://globaleducationaltrust.org/
This project is primarily centred around literacy in the UK but also abroad in a smaller capacity, the Charity with the help of the TUA has opened various free book shops around the country which are run by volunteers, anyone can come into the shop and take away 3 free books and should they wish they can donate a small contribution to the Charity.
This project is proving extremely successful and has become a welcome addition to many shopping centres and high streets, increasing the footfall for neighbouring shops and performing a valuable service for the local community. One of the GET Free Books shops is in Redcar in North Yorkshire and opened in August 2016, this shop has proved to be huge success in the town and is still going strong to date.
This incentive has been so well received that the local Mayor has visited the shop for its birthday celebration and local radio also interviewed some of the volunteers, which has all added to the shop becoming a community hub and meeting place.
The patrons to the shop are varied in ages and even though many younger people are using electronic media to find reading materials there are still lots who also like the feel of a physical book in their hands. This is also reflected by the volunteers that are running the Redcar shop, the group of volunteers are quite varied in their ages and ideals but the common goal of trying to make a difference is the unifying factor.
The shop is being run by approximately 15 volunteers and is open regularly throughout the week with Sunday being the only day it is closed.
Colin (on his knees in the picture) has been the lead volunteer of the shop since it’s opening, says:
“Volunteered at the Redcar shop since first week of opening in August 2016. Thoroughly enjoyed organising the shop from initial set up from being there for the first delivery of books from the Trust along with Gail one of the other initial volunteers. It was very exciting times sorting through the boxes of books delivered and was a bit like a child at Christmas not knowing what was in each of the boxes.
I love volunteering at the shop, sorting and collating books, window displays etc and of course meeting the different customers from all walks of life. We have ‘regulars’ who I chat to each week. It’s lovely to think we are providing such a worthwhile service to so many people, and very rewarding watching the customers come across a great find for themselves. Watching their faces light up like a child in a sweet shop.
Also working with a great team of volunteers which makes my days in the shop pleasurable and we all have a bit of a laugh and banter with our regular customers too”.
Some of the patrons have also given us their feedback.
“An excellent idea, well arranged with some unusual books to be found” (Gloria)
“Great shop for recycle and such a choice of books” (Steve P)
“Great choice of books. I am always in exchanging books. Great friendly staff” (Gail)
“We thought idea to have a place like this. Great choice of books lovely staff.” (Debbie)
“Nice polite staff, great shop hard to beat, 100% positive feedback” (Graham)
The Redcar experience is proving to be a very positive one, new friendships have been formed and literature read and shared, this has also been recognised by the Northern Echo who have featured the shop.