Bookshop’s “Books for Africa” events receive wonderful response from local shoppers…


Not one to rest on our laurels, the Pelican Post team have recently been out and about promoting the scheme through “book drives” held at a number of Waterstones branches in the south of England.

Speaking about the events, Nick Johnson, Founder of the Pelican Post commented: “We were getting regular requests from a number of the participating schools about visitors going out with plenty of luggage space to take books.  We clearly didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to furnish them with further copies of books from the Pelican Post reading list, and spoke to a number of Waterstones branches to see if they would be interested in trialing a “Books For Africa” event.”

So far the team has held events in branches at Amersham, Farnham and Guildford, and each time the public reaction has just been quite unexpected and brilliant.

David Sommer, Co-Founder of the Pelican Post said “I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of people I meet through this scheme.  The difference they make is not just material – they’re improving children’s education, and their chances in life, aand they’re making an emotional connection too.  Everyone donating a book has the chance to include a message with it, and we email people to let them know when the book has arrived and what school received it.” 

At Waterstones Amersham – Robin, Branch Manager said:  “The Pelican Post event was one of the most successful events that we have hosted at Waterstone’s Amersham…It went very smoothly and appealed to the vast majority of our customers on the day…Customers seemed genuinely interested and were clearly happy to support such a direct and more meaningful method of giving.  We sold nearly 80 books!”

At Farnham branch, despite it being a terrible day of weather and the same weekend that the devastating floods in Pakistan dominated the news (resulting in an army of volunteers out in full force collecting right outside Waterstones), the store still received a receptive response from the general public with 64 books sold.

Erika Ling, Store Manager at Waterstone’s on Guildford High Street was equally optimistic about the events success where 137 books were sold (although 26 were for personal readers who will hopefully post the books on when finished reading!)   Erika commented “We were utterly blown away by the generosity and enthusiasm of our customers on Saturday.”   

Jessica Sage, Events Co-ordinator for Waterstone’s Guildford said; “Pelican Post’s work is absolutely fantastic and we we’re very proud to have hosted this event.”

The event at Guildford also included activities for the kids all day.  Children were invited to make bookmarks to send on with the books providing a further personal gift to send to a child their own age. living a very different life.

Many of the books sold at the events have already found new homes at schools in Malawi, Uganda and Ghana, and a new batch are about to take flight for destinations also in Uganda but also Ethiopia and Kenya.

Given the early success we have had with these events we would love to continue raising awareness about the scheme through bookstores and are always keen to accept any invitation from any bookshop willing to take us!

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