Merseyside authors Natalie Reeves Billing and Jude Lennon joined forces to assemble 300 free boxes for children filled with items such as books, papercrafts and notebooks, and then set out in a VW camper van to hand deliver them.
The writers are working together through Split Perspectivz, a social enterprise which was created with the goal of helping to make education free and accessible to all children.
Natalie Reeves Billing said: “This has been a labour of love. We set up a little assembly line to create hundreds of Builder Book boxes during the heatwave and it was so exciting to finally get out in the van and deliver them all!”
She added: “Families on the lowest incomes have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and for some, buying things like books, notepads or pencils for the children is a luxury that there just isn’t the budget for.
“I feel passionately that all children should have access to books and materials to inspire their creativity and alongside Jude Lennon, I’ve been delivering boxes to key locations including Clare House, the Liverpool Six Community Centre and The Drive.”
Jude Lennon welcomed the support that they’ve received from local businesses and individuals, and thanked their sponsors, including Regenda Homes, saying: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed in some way to the Builder Book project, be that through sponsorship, book donations, donating to our Crowdfunder, sharing our posts or spreading the word. We are truly grateful.”
The authors, who have donated their time and resources to get the community project off the ground, are hoping that they’ll eventually be able to give out their free literacy resources in more locations, including Cheshire, Sefton and Wirral.
Although the first batch of Builder Book boxes has now been distributed, the Crowdfunder is still open and the authors say that they’d be enormously grateful for any further support – whether that’s from a local business that may be in a position to sponsor the project, or to donate items like pencils and notebooks, or through donations from individuals.
This will enable them to donate books to more communities in the North West.
Natalie concluded: “We’re so glad to have had the chance to get these boxes into the hands of children who will benefit from them and to be supporting local businesses, too, as we’re including items made by local people in the boxes. A big thank you to everyone who’s supported this project so far.”
The Builder Book Crowdfunding page is accessible via: www.splitperspectivz.com/builder-book