A message from our Chief Executive
Last night I listened to the announcement of a third national lockdown with concern and deep sadness. But despite the lockdown here, our partners continue to tell us that people in their communities need books to support their learning and to enjoy reading for pleasure in these challenging times.
So, in line with government guidelines, we are keeping our warehouse open and are continuing to receive, select and send books to communities around the world.
To ensure that our warehouse staff are safe, we have enhanced our cleaning and hygiene procedures and have closed the warehouse to all but essential visitors. The rest of our team continues to work from home. If you would like more information on how we’re operating during this time, please see our updated frequently asked questions below.
We were overwhelmed by our supporters’ generosity in 2020. With your support, we sent over 867,000 books to thousands of libraries, schools, refugee camps and hospitals in 19 countries last year – and we are determined to continue reaching out to readers around the world in 2021.
Should you be able to support us with books or a financial donation, please contact our Head of Operations, Harry Boughton, Harry.Boughton@bookaid.org.
Stay well, and thank you so much for your support.
How are you protecting your staff?
We are following, as a minimum, government guidelines regarding the safety of our staff and we are fortunate that all our office staff are able to work from home. For our warehouse, we have implemented safe working procedures including social distancing, stringent and frequent cleaning and hygiene routines, staggered shifts and a smaller-than-usual team.
How is your work affected?
Many of our library and school library projects are also temporarily on hold until schools re-open and our implementing partners in Africa are ready to begin work again.
As shipping has continued to operate throughout the pandemic we do not anticipate a significant impact on our work operationally, although we are experiencing some delays in delivering books, particularly to landlocked countries in Africa. We are monitoring the situation very closely and will adjust our plans accordingly.
As we are funded entirely through voluntary donations we must also anticipate some impact on our income from the expected economic downturn. Any downturn in our funding will affect the number of books we are able to send. We would like to thank all our supporters for remaining with us through this challenging period.
How are your partners being affected by COVID-19?
Many of our partners have informed us that they are continuing to operate but in a reduced capacity. The majority of schools and libraries have been temporarily closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, so our partners are working very hard to prepare for the time when they can re-open. In the meantime, many are adopting innovative new ways to reach their readers. Read about how our partners in Liberia are navigating the crisis and finding new ways to get books to those hardest to reach.
Why send books if all the libraries are closed?
We always check with partners ahead of any shipment that they are able to receive and distribute the books we are sending. Some library services are open now and these partners will be prioritised in our plans.
Additionally, we send all our books by sea freight, which can take up to 4 months to arrive with our partners. It is important that we send books now so that they are with our partners when schools and libraries re-open.
Can I donate books?
If you represent a publisher, bookseller, author or other members of the book trade and have new books to donate (we cannot, unfortunately, accept second-hand books) please get in touch with Harry Boughton, our Head of Operations.
Can I donate to support your work?
Yes, please! Every £2 helps us send another book. Find out more about how to donate.
Thank you for your support. if you have any further questions please get in touch.