PUBLISHED: 12:56 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:11 25 April 2019
Volunteer Shravani with picture books at Global Educational Trust’s new free bookshop in Princes Street, Ipswich Picture: JUDY RIMMER
A charity has opened a new free bookshop in Ipswich town centre, to help promote literacy and a love of reading,
The Global Educational Trust shop is in 15/17 Princes Street, in a shop which had previously been empty for some time.
Lorraine Turner, administrator for GET, said: “GET promotes literacy in education by giving away books for free. We save books from landfill and help the local community.”
She said that when customers come in they can take up to three books at each visit. They can choose to make a small financial donation, which helps the charity’s work, but this is voluntary. People can also donate books in the shop.
It is hoped that in future there will be community events in the shop, possibly including yoga and dance events.
So far, GET has opened about 17 shops around the country. Books are sometimes donated from other shops which are closing down as well as by individuals.
Lorraine said: “We work on a temporary shop basis, using shops that are temporarily vacant. Landlords would rather have activity in the shops and not have them getting damp or being vandalised.”
More volunteers are needed to join the Ipswich shop team. Lorraine said: “Everyone is welcome. Volunteers can do whatever hours they want, whether it’s a couple of hours or five days a week. A lot of the volunteers work as a way of increasing their confidence.”
Hundreds of books have already been donated to the new shop, including history, fiction and children’s picture books.
Shravani and Manisha are volunteers currently working there. Shravani said she had decided to support the charity after hearing about it from the landlord, Sachin, who is donating the shop space.
“I feel it’s good to work here and talk to the customers who are coming in, and having a good time with the books,” she said.
“During the Easter holidays we had children coming in and it was lovely to see them enjoying the books.”
In a first for the charity, some small reading rooms have been created within the shop, for anyone who wants to sit and read a book quietly. There is also a kitchen, so that volunteers can make a cup of tea or coffee.
The shop is open from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2.30pm to 4.30pm from Monday to Saturday.
If you are interested in volunteering for Global Educational Trust, contact Lorraine on 07412 131122. You can also find out more by visiting the charity’s Facebook page, @GETshops
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