Tag Archives: Fundraising

Shelves of books

Loving libraries

Charlotte Walker, leader of the 3rd Chapel Allerton Guides in Leeds loves books and libraries. She wanted to share that love with young people in her local area and decided create her very own challenge badge to introduce Guides to their local libraries, donating all the profit from badge sales to us. We talked to Charlotte to find out more about the ‘I Love My Library’ badge.


Charlotte receiving her Queen’s Guide Award


I created the ‘I Love My Library’ badge during my Queen’s Guide Award. It is a challenging programme of excursions, outdoor adventures and community action that you can complete in Girlguiding.

Libraries were very important to me growing up. I loved all sorts of books – favourite stories, travel books, how-to guides, audio books. I would read anything! But nowadays I believe that young people today are missing out on what libraries can do for them.

Whilst Brownies have the Booklover badge, there is no dedicated badge about libraries in Girlguiding. So my Guide unit and I decided to design our own badge for Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and the Senior Section – the ‘I Love My Library’ challenge badge. The aim of the badge is to get more young people into their local libraries and benefitting from all the services they have to offer.


I Love my Library badge


My Guide unit and I designed the badge and the syllabus together. The first part of the badge focuses on activities to do in the weekly meetings at your unit. This includes a book-themed charades competition, designing your own library and Pictionary using the Dewey Decimal System.

For the second part of the badge, the Guides are taken on a visit to their local library. Here, they take part in various activities to get to know the library and its different sections and services. The visit finishes with a detective game to find clues hidden around the library.

My unit really enjoyed visiting the library and thought it was the best part of the badge. We visited outside of opening hours so we had the place to ourselves. This gave the girls free rein to get to know every part of the library. The clue hunt at the end was very exciting as they went around looking for clues and unlocking codes. Our visit was also a great opportunity for the girls to hear about some of the events coming up at the library. Many of them have visited their library again since.

We are donating all the profits from the ‘I Love My Library’ challenge badge to Book Aid International – we sold over 800 badges and raised £948! As we are lucky enough in the UK to have such easy access to books, I wanted the profits to go to a charity which gives other children around the world access to books. Book Aid International does just that!

I hope that the girls who participated in the ‘I Love My Library’ challenge badge will continue to visit their library and take their siblings and friends too!


We would like to say a big thank you to Charlotte and her Girlguiding unit for their generous support. They’ve raised enough to send over 470 books to libraries in places where the challenges to accessing books are at their greatest. We hope the ‘I Love My Library’ badge inspires a love of libraries in many Guides.


Reading at Regeza Mwendo Primary School., Zanzibar

Helping to give every child the chance to read

11-year-old Emma recently got in touch to say she was spending the year fundraising for us and enclosed a cheque for a whopping £298.87. Here she shares what she’s been doing to raise so much money for us and why she wanted to support our work.

Some of Emma's favourite books


My name is Emma and I have just completed year 6 at Belmont C of E Primary School. Reading is very important to me as I love books. I believe every child deserves the chance to read. I have lots of favourite books but the first two that come to mind are Matilda by Roald Dahl and Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll. I love Matilda as she loves books and always visits the library (which I always do). Letters from the Lighthouse is such a page turner and I love war stories so it is the perfect book for me.

I chose to fundraise for Book Aid International because it supports libraries. I love libraries – they share the love of reading because anyone can access books at them.

Since I was fundraising for Book Aid International, I wanted to do a fundraising activity which included books. So I held a bring and buy book sale at my local library. I regularly go to Belmont Library so on a visit I asked them and they suggested we do the sale at the same time as their monthly coffee morning on a Saturday.


Collecting books for the fundraiser
Collecting books for the book sale


To advertise the book sale, I put posters up in local shops and the library and my dad put something on his Facebook page about it. I also did an assembly in school to raise awareness about Book Aid International and put up posters about the book sale.

We collected books for the sale at Belmont Library and at home. We had around 500 books to sell in total. We had all types of books, both adults and children’s.

On the day, my mum and my friend Sophie helped with the sale. Around 150 people came and we raised £298.87 for Book Aid International!

Since then, I’ve handed out penny pots to my family to fill with loose change and I am donating £1 of my weekly pocket money to Book Aid International for the rest of the year. I am now spending my summer holidays thinking about what my next fundraising event will be . . .


Huge thanks to Emma for her amazing support! The money she has raised so far is enough to send 150 brand new books to a community who may otherwise have little access to books. If you’d like to fundraise for us but are stuck for ideas, why not try a book sale like Emma or click on the links below for more ideas.



Bookmarks for books!

Our supporters are always so creative in the ways that they raise funds for us! None more so than Arabella, age 12, who has been making and selling bookmarks at school to support our work for the past three years.


My name is Arabella and I’ve just completed Year Eight at school. I spend the summer holidays making my bookmarks and hold a sale in December in time for the Christmas season. My bookmarks are always tailor-made to themes that I know my friends will like such as moustaches, monsters, pom-poms, crowns, butterflies and dogs. I use old pieces of ribbon, card, glitter and anything else I can get my hands on at home and from the school art cupboard. Each year I aim to raise £100 because I know this means that Book Aid International can send 50 new books to Africa.


Arabella fundraising for us for the first time in 2013


I chose Book Aid International as my charity and to make bookmarks as my fundraiser because reading is my absolute passion. Not only do I owe almost everything I know to books, but they also give me an immense amount of pleasure. J. K. Rowling put it perfectly when she said:

“Wherever I am, if I’ve got a good book with me, I have a place I can go and be happy.”

It makes me sad to think that there are people in the world who don’t have access to books, learning and ‘a place they can be happy’. For this reason I will continue to support Book Aid International for as long as I can.




Above is a picture of some of the bookmarks I made this year. I highly recommend bookmarks as a way to raise money, because they are easy and fun to make and everyone needs a bookmark!

Over the past years, Arabella has raised over £290 to support our work in libraries in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s enough to send almost 150 books to our partners! Well done Arabella!



Your amazing World Book Day efforts

World Book Day is an annual celebration of all things bookish and it’s also a great opportunity to fundraise for Book Aid International. Every year, children and adults across the UK amaze us with their fundraising efforts. This year World Book Day was on 3rd March and we’ve been delighted to receive so many stories and pictures of what you got up to, as well as your donations of course. Here’s just a few of the great efforts you went to this year to raise money for our work.

At Newminster Middle School in Northumberland children dressed up as their favourite book characters and the librarian there reports that almost everyone got involved this year. They held a dressing up competition and the 10 winners, judged as having displayed the most ingenuity and originality with their costumes, each chose a book prize from the school’s week long Travelling Books Fair. Apparently it was not an easy decision, but well done to everyone who got involved!

The students in Mrs Leckie’s Book Group at Coltness High School in Lanarkshire organised a bake sale and raised £75.20 for our work. Huge thanks to Abby Green, Robert Langford, Caitlin Laing, Amy Kelly and Kerry Campbell for all their efforts.

Denstone Sixth Form College in Staffordshire has recently opened a new library. Their librarian told us: “It is a beautiful place for pupils to work in and provides them with access to books in a way that, we realise, so many others can only dream of.”

The college had a special display in the library about our work which fit perfectly with the opening of their new library space. Students at the college take part in fundraising activities all year round and they felt it was fitting to donate some of this money to Book Aid International on World Book Day.

World Book Day isn’t just for children and Edinburgh and York University libraries proved that this year by getting their students involved with the fun. All late fines paid on and around World Book Day were donated – helping students turn a bad deed into a very good one!

Our Community Ambassador Jane Penson also took a sophisticated approach to World Book Day and organised a fundraising dinner in Amersham. A beautiful dinner was provided and our very own Head of Fundraising and Development Hannah Watson attended and gave a short speech to raise awareness of our work. In total Jane and her guests raised over £1,000.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who raised money for us on World Book Day. The donations you make really will make a huge difference to people’s lives in Africa as we’ll be able to fill more library shelves with brand new, carefully selected books that can help people discover the joy of reading.

Schools, community groups and individuals have already sent in more than £43,000. If you still have funds to donate, here’s all the information on how to get your money to us.