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Helping with literacy in UK prisons

by BookRelief UK
Helping with literacy in UK prisons

As we come to the end of our current, GlobalGiving administered, project I would just like to thank you all, Book Relief UK's (BRUK) loyal supporters, for your interest and help with our literacy projects.

The late Barry Evetts, the founder of BRUK in 2006, had a vision of helping with small UK and worldwide 'literacy projects', and many of our current supporters were his particular friends so we are really grateful that you have stuck with us as we continue to try to fulfill that original vision.

We (BRUK) have completed 8 small literacy projects over the 11 years since Barry founded the charity and the last three have been with the administrative backing of Global Giving but we feel the time has come now to directly administer them with our small local committee. 

So our next project, working with the charity 'Empower the Gambia' ( , has begun by making a grant to 'sponsor a village librarian'. We are looking out suitable books for the libraries that ETG supports.

In winding down our current project ,'Helping with Literacy in UK Prisons', two of our committee members will be going to one of the Devon prisons (Dartmoor) to talk with the librarian and see what ongoing help BRUK can give.

You can follow BRUK

either on our website (,

our Facebook page( 

by contacting our shop in Bideford (01237/470600)

or myself (John Carvosso..01805/

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Since our last report we have been able to make a contribution of £200 to each of our 3 Devon prisons by contacting the librarians and sending the £600 via Libraries Unlimited (the new co-ordinating body that helps all the libraries in Devon, including the prisons of Channings Wood, Exeter and Dartmoor)

We are still also sending small quantities of books that the librarians have asked us to look for add to their library stocks.

Two of our Committee members are arranging to visit the Dartmoor librarian, at her request, shortly

We are still looking for further support , via our Global Giving Project page, as the moneys we have so far donated have come mainly direct from our small bookshop funds.

We are most grateful to all our current supporters and hope you will continue to support us and maybe encourage your friends too.

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The last three months have seen Book Relief UK (BRUK) make contact with all three of the Prison in Devon (Channings Wood, Dartmoor and Exeter) and asking their librarians how we could help promote literacy within their prisons.

The Exeter librarian asked BRUK to look for specific genres of books and so far we have sent two box loads, from those asked for , to the Prison Library.  The books mainly come from our Bideford bookshop and books we have in storage which have been donated to us. The librarian has gratefully received them and asked us to continue sending 'as many as possible' from her list.

Channings Wood librarian gave a long list of 'Easy Read ' books and BRUK are trying hard to get them ,so far unsuccessfully as most are only published in USA. We have set a budget of £250 and are , at present, awaiting a reply from the librarian to see whether she still wishes them to come from USA ot to choose some other books for the prison library.

We are still waiting to hear back from the Dartmoor librarian.

The Shannon Trust newsletter and website are helping us to understand the literacy needs within the prisons in the UK

A big thank you to several of our previous supporters who are continuing to support BRUK in this our second project with Global Giving.

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Our small charity bookshop in Bideford
Our small charity bookshop in Bideford

We have just started getting this , our second Global Giving administered project, off the ground. Progress is quite slow but we have made good links with the Shannon Trust which is the major charity working within the UK prisons to help the folks in prison learning to  read (and becoming more confident with reading).

As Book Relief UK  is a Devon based 'literacy' charity we are in process of contacting the librarians in each of our 3 Devon prisons and offering small donations towards books they choose for the Prison libraries.

So far we have made a grant  to the Shannon Trust to buy training manuals (see letter) and prepared a list of books for the Prison Libraries (list attached for interest)

Attached is a picture of our shop in Bideford which at moment is main source of income for this project.

I'm shortly going to write to all our previous project sponsors to see if they might like to support this new project and we would be grateful if readers of this report could consider making a small donation and ,perhaps, encouraging their friends to support our new project.


Thanks for reading this first report.


John & BRUK team


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Organization Information

BookRelief UK

Location: Torrington, Devon - United Kingdom
Twitter: @BookReliefUK
BookRelief UK
John Carvosso
Project Leader:
John Carvosso
Torrington, Devon United Kingdom

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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