Monday, 20 October 2014

A Date for your Diary

Another of our stupendously delightful open day fundraisers coming up - just making sure that you save the date and don't go off having birthdays, getting married or other nonsense. You know this is the place to be..........

We've been receiving loads of books, which are expertly stamped and cleaned up by young people doing reparations and we've given away loads too.... We're almost at 5000 so far this year, which means we will certainly beat last year's record.

We have been doing outreach to care homes, retirement villages, hospices and neuro centres and will be building on that as time goes on.

We've also received funding from the Hospital of God at Greatham and the Jill Franklin Trust and a donation from MG Northumbria to pay for some more bookshelves....... we keep growing out of the shelving.  Thanks so much to all these for their support - and for the donations that appear in the collection box from people coming to collect books from us. Every penny is appreciated.

In the next few months we hope finally to be able to start our long-awaited Multi-Lingual Library and are also talking to various organisations about starting new Borderline Books chapters in other towns around the North-East. We are particularly interested in working with groups supporting people leaving prison as it makes such a great project to get people back into life on the outside and can also offer training in all kinds of work skills.

Our literacy project for young people, WordPlay is still waiting to start - everything is in place apart from the candidates.... we know there are plenty of young people in the area whose literacy skills are far lower than they should be, and we are really excited to get some youngsters into the pilot project to find out what fun can be had from words and reading.
Two of the tutors will be demonstrating a session at the open day in November, so if you are thinking of bringing people to us to be cajoled into reading, come along and see what fun it will be.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Busy Month......

June has been Volunteer's Month in Gateshead. Our volunteer, John Harlock, braved the weather and took a table full of books to Trinity Square on 7 June for the opening event. Pam Gibson went to the Teams Festival on 14 June -this is our third Teams Festival. On Sunday 29th we had a table at the Bensham and Saltwell festival for the first time. - So far we gave away 288 books at these 3 events.
On 5 July we will be at Dunston and on 19 July at Birtley and also at a Salvation Army event in Gateshead..... so let's see if we can keep up the momentum!

On June 20 - World Refugee Day we held an event at our Team Valley location. In the morning there was a presentation by Hannah from GVOC about the latest regulations regarding refugees, asylum applicans and volunteering. In short, they can all volunteer as restrictions have been lifted. This is excellent news as volunteering offers such a good opportunity for people to join in, meet new people, learn the language better and generally spend what may be a worrying and frustrating time doing enjoyable tasks. Thanks to GVOC for a very interesting presentation with lots of space for questions and explanations.
Lunch was provided by Culture Kitchen - and delicious it was too, with dishes from Angola, Poland and other countries which all blended together to make a wonderful meal.
We are looking forward to working with Culture Connect on other projects in the future.... again, wait and see!

In the afternoon Freedom from Torture gave a talk and showed short films about the fate of some people who suffer torture in different countries around the world. Look at their website for more information.

The mini-bus was provided by Community Transport in Byker - big thanks to Dave who patiently drive back and forth hoping for more passengers. Nexus kindly gave us permission to run the shuttle service from inside the Gateshead Interchange. And finally, thanks to Gateshead Council for funding for this event. It was very much appreciated. 

In the meantime, summer is around here somewhere, the bees are buzzing and so are our minds, hatching new plots and planning new ventures. We hope to be able to announce progress on the multi-lingual library very soon... we are collecting bi-lingual books, particularly for children, as well as flags from all corners of a spherical planet.

And while we're here - with all these summer festivals our supply of children's picture books is running very low, so if you have any children's books your children have finished with, or know of any schools who are clearing out their libraries, please let them know we would be delighted to give them a home.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Some updates.....

There's so much going on at the moment there never seems to be time to update this blog....
The website has been updated - on the English side, anyway,

Wordplay is the new literacy project we will be running with young people to find out what's stopping them enjoying reading or writing. The main component of the course will be lots of fun and laughter. there's a Facebook page which will keep you up to date. We have funding for the pilot project and are particularly interested in working with young offenders.

Next, we are looking for groups working with people leaving prison to start up new Borderline Books branches around the country to make books more readily available to people who need them.

We'd like to thank the children and staff at Moorside Primary School who made a collection for us on World Book Day in March. They came to school dressed as a character from a book and were asked to bring a silver coin. We were amazed that they sent us more than £100!  Thank you SO much Moorside!

And the other exciting thing is that we are going to open a Multi-Lingual Library in Newcastle.... When? Where? We'll tell you next time....

Meanwhile we've applied for some funding at last.... We've been managing since 2009 with what people drop in the donations box, together with a fundraising poetry night in 2012 and an open day in 2014... now and then people promise donations and then forget to take care of the crucial business of actually giving it to us.  We spend as little as possible, but the volunteers need their travel costs, we have to pay to use the phone and internet and the flyers and other printed materials are not free. The library is going to cost quite a bit to set up, regardless of the cost of the new location. Again we were promised shelving which accidentally got given to someone else :-( so we're buying from ebay... and that's not free either.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Here we are in 2014

Wow, that didn't take long.....  Let's start with a quick look back at what we did in 2013...

At the end of April we held our first Open Day. We had our first BBC tv spot. Our first BBC Newcastle interview.
We took part in Gateshead Volunteers month, attending festivals in Saltwell Park, Birtley and Teams. We had at least 4 mass-volunteering days where we accomplished large amounts of work and pretty much cleared up the backlog.
In June we took part in a pilot project at Broadacre House with Northern Creative Solutions.
In December we put book-collection boxes at Seven Stories and Gateshead Civic Centre.
The Score:
Seven Stories: 19      Civic Centre 180

We also once again received items of clothing from Giving World Online 
These were distributed to various women's refuges, The Comfrey Project, Panah, Crisis and other local groups. - We do encourage you to sign up with Giving World, they always have interesting things on offer and if we group the orders together we can save a lot on transport costs.

We also received some wonderful donations of books from North Shields and Wallsend libraries - many many thanks to them. It is wonderful to have this support from people who value books the way we do. Many of the library workers were also delighted that their books would go on to have another lease of life, rather than sending them to the knacker's yard and getting pulped.

During 2013 we gave away approx 5183 books, plus DVDs, clothes, oracles, card decks and other goodies.

Looking forward, during 2014 we hope to open a multi-lingual library in Newcastle City centre, start up at least 3 more Borderline BookSpaces in Durham, Carlisle and .... fill in your local town.
We are already working on more active outreach to stop people complaining that they've never heard of us...

We plan to take part in Gateshead Volunteers Month in June again, remembering that the third week of June is also Refugee Week, so we may be able to hold some special events that week in Team Valley.

Also we would like to offer some extras to women's refuges - perhaps 'pamper days' where we can visit the refuges with people who do hair, nails, reiki.... whatever people have to offer and the women will enjoy. Of course we would also take quantities of books to let the women choose for themselves what they'd like to read.

So it's wide open - bring your own ideas, let us know what you can offer. All our contact details are on our website.