BookTrust have a scheme, The Letterbox Club who send out books to children in care throughout the year. The Letterbox Club Festive Appeal has just launched. Please read on and if you can, please donate.
The Letterbox Club Festive Appeal is happening now. For £10 a child in care will receive a book and gift this Christmas. Here’s an example of the kind of package they receive through the year.
We visited the BookTrust offices a while ago, and while there learnt about The Letterbox Club – a service they provide which sends children in care books to keep. Children are sometimes taken from their parents with very few possessions, and until they’re placed with adoptive parents, often have just a handful of toys and very little that truly belongs to them.
The Letterbox Club sends them a book package throughout the year and is put together specially for them. Often it can be the first item of post the child has ever received.
Then I heard about The Letterbox Club Festive Appeal via a friend on Facebook. By donating £10 you can give a child a book, somewhere they can escape and enjoy, hopefully making their days a little bit easier. BookTrust have selected six hardback books which will be sent to children aged 3-13 years. The Books are picked according to the age of the child and each child will receive a specially- created festive poster and postcard by illustrator Adam Stower.
BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald said:
“Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for children in care. Books have the magical ability to transform children to different worlds and to make them feel a part of something special. Why not donate today and help make a child in care’s Christmas that bit brighter.”
H and I have donated, and I hope you will take time out to as well if you can. There are 9,700 children in care in the UK.
Case study 1: Emma Norry, aspiring author, Bournemouth.
“When you’re a child in care, you have very little control over what happens to you and the choices you make are often limited. To be able to choose which fictional worlds to explore, enter and escape to is invaluable.
“Books are a way out of and into what you may be experiencing. They are a chance to make new friends, access new worlds and to realise that you might not be alone after all. Books took me places I needed to go. No matter who came and went, books were always there showing me how similar we all were inside.
“For me, I knew that between the pages of a book was a place I was always welcome. Books didn’t mind who I was or wasn’t, where I had come from or where I might end up. Books remained the same even though all around me
was constantly changing. I clung to my books like a life raft. Books were my constant home and I carried words inside me, as armour and protection and comfort.”
Case study 2: Darren McCartney: “I spent some time growing up in care it was sometimes difficult. It wasn’t a particularly unhappy time but sometimes I
would struggle. I felt like I needed an escape and I found that in books. Reading gave me a method of forgetting about what was happening. You don’t realise at the time that’s what you’re doing, but looking back if it hadn’t been for a good book I realise now my time in care would’ve been a lot more difficult.”