Charity Profile: Prison Reading Groups (Indie Extravaganza Day 13)

We're on day 13 of our Indie Extravaganza and it's time for another charity profile. When you buy tickets for our raffle all of the profit is going to Give a Book, our charitable partners. We also donate £1 per quarterly box sold to them on a regular basis. They work with various other literacy charities and we thought we'd take the opportunity to spotlight some of them to give you an idea of the kinds of things your money is going to.

One of the things that made us choose Give a Book to work with is the variety of projects they work with - we felt like our money would be helping a huge variety of people in need of books and that's important to us.

Prison Reading Groups is a fairly self explanatory charity. They train volunteers and support reading groups in prisons, with the idea that reading promotes empathy and helps people to self-examine and think more deeply about things while providing a safe place to do so. Founded in 1999 Prison Reading Groups now supports 40 groups in 35 prisons including a daycare unit for vulnerable women prisoners.

Reading groups are often set up by the prison librarian or another member of prison staff, in conjunction with Prison Reading Groups who work with them to sort out specifics and provide funding. You can also volunteer to help in Prison Reading Groups - the charity trains and organises volunteers to go into prisons and help out with the groups. You can read a really interesting book about a woman who did the same thing in Canada, The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley.

The charity also supports Family Days and provides books and book bags for children who are visiting a parent in prison. This enables children to read with their parents, something they might otherwise not get to do, and it also means that the children feel like they have a present from their parent, which is also something that's not easy to facilitate. The project is currently being expanded across more prisons.

We hope you'll agree that this is an incredible thing to provide. It's easy to get caught up in the politics in these areas and forget the amazing power that books have to mentally remove people from their situations while also allowing them a place to connect more with them.

Money raised from your purchase of tickets for our raffle could be going to help this brilliant charity - please do make sure you get your tickets!

Catch up on the weeks' amazing indie businesses and prize donations:

Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Waters: An Apex Publications Preview

The Forgotten Library: Turning Books into Beautiful Gifts

Comma Press: Upcoming Titles

HandmadebyHaggy: Linocutting at its best

Fantasy and Folklore: An Interview with Gaja J. Kos

Raffle Tickets


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