Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are confined to their homes and dare not leave for non-essential reasons. Many feel unable to enjoy usual luxuries, including having a good book to read.
Thanks to one Mum and her two children, residents in Stroud, England are getting their books delivered via bike by Beki and her daughters Maeve, six, and Iitu, four.
When they realised many people were without books, the four jump on their electric cargo bike and began delivering books to those in need. After hearing about the service, many residents got in touch and offered to donate books. Local resident and author Katie Fforde even donated a number of her signed copies of her romantic novels.
As Stroud News and Journal reports, Beki works as an English and History teacher at the Acorn School in Nailsworth and is also a caseworker for Martin Whiteside, the Green Party District Councillor. The idea first came to her after she posted books to her students during lockdown and as well as becoming aware that many people didn’t have anything to read due to the libraries being closed.
Beki took to social media to ask who would like to donate or receive a book, and was overwhelmed by the response. “I was so touched by the offers of books, and Katie’s were received particularly enthusiastically by the recipients,” she said.
During the February half-term, Beki and her children would wrap the books up, complete with a gift tag, load them on their bike, and then start delivering them to locals. Some of those getting books included soon-to-be mothers at Stroud Maternity Unit, who were eager for something to read while they waited for their little ones.
“People were very happy and touched,” said Beki. “One man said his wife loved reading but could not easily get hold of books as she wasn’t able to get out very much anymore.”
She continued: “It is estimated that during the first lockdown one in four children didn’t have access to a book.
“Although libraries have been brilliantly supporting the community with e-books and partially re-opening where possible, many people have been unable to access copies of books during the lockdown, especially if they are shielding or less able to afford buying them online.
“So it was lovely to be able to help in a small way – and my daughters really enjoyed their time as mini-library workers.”