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News story

Festive Gifting Campaign 2023: Results

29 Feb 2024

Perry's Pantry

A grand total of 17,582 books were gifted to struggling families across Manchester in December as part of Read Manchester’s festive free book give-away. With the help of 156 different partner organisations who directly support families in the community, brand new books found new homes and new readers, sowing the seeds for a love of reading.

Festive book gifting 2023 infographic

We reached out to community and youth groups, foodbanks, community grocers, children’s centres, health groups, the children’s hospital and more, with the support of Manchester Central Library Development Trust’s Just Giving Appeal.

IMG - CB child & mum santa hat (1)

Encouraging a love of reading

We received some great feedback from families and partner organisations, which illustrates the impact of the book give-away:

"I could've cried when I opened the parcel and saw the books. To know my child won't be without gifts on Christmas Day is such a relief. We love reading together now."

Parent supported by Home-Start Manchester.

Books received by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator at Abbey Hey Primary School were used for their Christmas hampers. She commented that gifting books makes a huge difference to their vulnerable families: Parents were very grateful, one child said they have never had their own book before.

Sally at Healthy Me, Healthy Communities, gave the books out to families on low income attending the Community Grocers:

"Our staff and volunteer team are so happy to receive these books. The families we work with are struggling more and more and our demand is getting higher and higher, with little increase in funds to match. To be able to provide books for children (and the ones to adults) and see the joy on the children and adults' faces is a joy. It is both helping people financially and mental health wise as they are receiving something for free which will provide enjoyment, learning, and fun!"

Gav Cross

Thank you to donors and charitable partners

We also partnered with BookTrust, the children’s reading charity dedicated to inspiring families to read together, to deliver 1,427 festive book parcels to 12 community organisations, benefitting families using foodbanks and children in care.

The Manchester Central Library Development Trust's Just Giving Appeal raised £1,417.50 plus £330.63 in Gift Aid. Thank you to everyone who gifted funds, large or small. Your combined efforts have helped us purchase 350 more new books!

Read Manchester would also like to extend gratitude to the amazing volunteers who contributed a total of 147 hours to help the team with the book give-away. And finally, a big, bearded shout out to author Gav Cross for his help in promoting the campaign.

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