Family Support Charity Launches 2017 Children’s Book Appeal

13 October 2017

An Aberdeen-based family support charity has launched an appeal for children’s books as it prepares to organise its fourth consecutive book advent. The initiative, which was introduced by Home-Start Aberdeen in 2014, encourages parents to read a book with their children in the 24 days leading up to Christmas. Book parcels are delivered to vulnerable families throughout the city at the end of November.

The book advent has been highly popular with the families that are supported by Home-Start Aberdeen. The benefits of reading together are well-reported and include parent child bonding as well as the development of literacy, communication and imaginative skills. Home-Start Aberdeen works with families with at least one child under five and the charity is therefore in particular need of book donations for babies, toddlers and pre-school children, along with rolls of wrapping paper.

Home-Start Aberdeen is one of the largest Home-Start schemes in the UK and assists up to 229 families, including 360 children, each year. The task ahead includes sorting, wrapping and distributing thousands of books – an effort that is being supported this year by Aberdeen-based team members from banking group Santander. In addition to donating staff time to sort and wrap book bundles, Santander’s three outlets in the city will also act as drop-off points for donations.

“The book advent seems to strike a chord with many people and we are incredibly grateful for the local offers of help that allow us to fulfil it,” says Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen. “It is a considerable undertaking, however each year individuals, groups and organisations get behind it to make it come together. We are fortunate to have some books left over from last year’s campaign, however we do urgently require books for our pre-school children, as well as additional rolls of Christmas wrapping paper.

“It is our hope that people will remember us if they are having a pre-Christmas clear out of their own. Feedback from the families we support indicates that the gift of books in the lead-up to Christmas means a great deal to them.”

Children’s books, which should be in excellent or as new condition, and donations of wrapping paper can be dropped off at Home-Start Aberdeen’s headquarters at 1A Alford Place or at its charity shop at 101 George Street, opposite John Lewis. Santander is also providing additional drop-off points at its offices at 17 Carden Place and its branches at 171-173 Union Street and 99 George Street. All donations should be made by Friday, 3 November.

Home-Start Aberdeen provides vulnerable local families with emotional and practical support in their own homes. The charity is currently celebrating its thirtieth year of working with communities in the city. Its team of trained home visiting volunteers work with referred families to help them access relevant health and welfare services, manage family budgets and nutrition, engage with their own communities and enjoy family life again. Further information is available at www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

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