Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Jungle Library. Update.

10 days ago, I posted a thing on here asking for donations for The Jungle Library, a makeshift library set up by a teacher called  Mary Jones at the refugee camp in Calais.

Up until last Wednesday, we'd had a few, very generous donations from our customers and we were delighted that we could help in some way.

Then, following the media reporting of poor Aylan Kurdi, whose image I will never forget, things changed.
I have very mixed feeling about how the media portrayed this, (and i'm not going to argue this point with anyone, so let's not go there OK?), but one thing it did do was change attitudes and more importantly it seems to have led to a change in government policy.

On a very local level, our small appeal for books for the library was suddenly catapulted into the limelight, as The Independent and the Telegraph picked up on the story.

All of a sudden we were inundated with kind offers as thousands (about 26,000 at the last count) read the blogpost.

Here are a few things that have happened so far:

  • over £2,500 has been donated towards books and stuff for the Calais refugees (you can add to this too, if you want)

  • We've received thousands of books (and know we'll be getting at least three times as many this week too) from you lovely people. 

A small selection
  • The BBC came over to our gaff and stuck us on the London News. This is no longer available to view, but you'll have to take my word for it that I looked fabulous and it was worth the licence fee money alone. 
  • An Amazon Wishlist, set up by Worzel Wooface , attracted 160 purchases! Rather than donate books, this list was curated especially, so that people could buy specific books and games that the people at the camp need and get them delivered direct to us. Essentially we are going to be getting 160 Amazon parcels through the post! But it was an spectacular success, and those parcels amount to over £1200 worth of goods. 
There are other more incredible things that happened. Here are a couple that you really ought to know about.

Patrick Ness (he's an author. He's written some rather exceptional books too, but don't let him get all big headed about it), started an appeal for Save the Children's Syrian Refugee fund, in which he pledged to match donations if they got to £10,000. It took less than 2 hours! 

Good old Patrick Ness (as of Sept 6th 2015)

It then took on a life of its own with authors including Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls, Anthony Horowitz and Marian Keyes all agreeing to add £10,000 if more donations were given. Money currently raised is teetering around half a million pounds!! That's fucking AMAZING!!!
Give more money HERE (if you can).

£1300 was raised by publisher and all round nice guy Scott Pack and Jonathan Main, who owns The Bookseller Crow, London's second best bookshop. They offered professional advice to authors in exchange for money for the Syrian refugees. 

The book industry is ace.

Our next step is getting the books over to Calais....(that will be covered in the next blogpost, as this one is long enough already). 

Please, if you can, keep donating and sharing the message. These people need our help.


1 comment:

Worzel Wooface said...

Thank you for taking the first step! We are proud to have come along for the ride.
PS - sorry for all the parcels!