Charity book collection – get involved


Here at Abel & Cole, we think there’s nothing better after the soggy school-run than getting the kettle on and curling up with your wee-ones to enjoy a really good book. So much so, we wanted to share the love!

Of course, kids grow up fast and some books, however cherished, get grown out of. What to do with all these stories in need of a good home? We partnered with The London Children’s Book Project to give your old favourites second life with someone special.

So, who are The London Children’s Book Project?

The London Children's Book Project takes donations of new and gently used books that your children may have grown out of and sends them on new adventures with children that have very few books of their own.

On receipt, their volunteers carefully sort all donated books for packing and distribution to the most disadvantaged communities across London. Primary schools, women's groups, food banks and prison family groups receive hundreds of books that they gift in turn to the babies, children and young people they support. This year they hope to gift 75,000 books to children across the Capital with very few books of their own to help boost well being, their enjoyment of stories and the sense of themselves as part of a reading community.

How does it work?

Each location receives a donation of books and the loan of either a Pop Up Book Hut or a Pop Up Bookshop. These help the location to put on a truly joyful book event. Both the Book Huts and the Bookshops create a huge buzz and air of celebration! Children choose a book that they really want and can take it home to keep. All unwanted children's books will find themselves in a new bedroom, with a new reader and change lives.

“It has been fantastic to see children of all abilities from all year groups discussing books with each other, making recommendations and visibly enjoying reading. For some of our children, the books taken from the hut were the first ones they’ve ever owned. We had many questions of “do we really get to keep it”?” – Primary school teacher

Why are these books so important?

Liberty Venn, Project Founder of The London Children’s Book Project, tells us,

“The chance to choose and keep their own books has an array of impacts on young people, most notably a stronger sense of self as a reader and identification with books as a source of enjoyment rather than simply learning. Children who don’t have books of their own are nearly four times more likely to read below the average expected for their age compared with those that do have books at home*. They are less confident readers and are less likely to enjoy reading.

The chance to read and re-read a book they love, to become fluent in its language and to identify with the characters means that children and young people are more likely to share their experiences with their friends and to read more widely. This in turn positively impacts their confidence, fluency and motivation to read and supports the transition from 'learning to read' to 'reading to learn'.”

*NLT research, 2017

Books and wellbeing

There’s also a strong link between reading and wellbeing in young children. Liberty tells us,

“Sharing picture books with a family member, being read to or reading alone hugely impact a child's emotional and social wellbeing. They support a child's sense of belonging, understanding of self, communication skills and neurological development. Access to new vocabulary, images and concepts develop a sense of self and widen the child's world, which in turns supports his imagination and sense of what he might be. As a child's reading fluency develops, the opportunity to 'lose himself' in a book provides escape, immersion and relaxation. Shared experiences of loved titles foster community and belonging.”

"Today's was the best morning duty I have ever done in 10 years teaching; the children were SO excited and couldn't get over the opportunity to choose and take home their own book."
– Assistant Head teacher

How did we do?

With your help, we were able to collect over 20,000 books. A whopping number!

If you’d like to find out more about the London Children’s Book Project (including how your school, community group or neighbourhood can help!) check out their website here.

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