Grantham Journal Big Interview: Bookshop gives away remarkable £25,000 in 10 years
Community Books was set up in November 2006 – and in that time it has donated almost £25,000 to local good causes.
The wonderful work of its manager, Nean Asher, and nine volunteers led it to win the Best Not-for-Profit/Social Enterprise award in this year’s Grantham Journal Business Awards. Here, Nean tells us what makes Community Books a deserving winner.
What are your main aims?
Our aim is recycling good quality books, CDs, DVDs, jigsaws, bric-a-brac and toys to raise money for good causes within the local community.
How did it feel to win the Best Not-for-Profit/Social Enterprise category?
I never thought we would win with such high calibre finalists in our category but it was a great honour to receive it on behalf of everybody at Community Books. It’s an accolade to all volunteers, customers and those who donate to us. It’s brilliant to see our work within the community be recognised.
How many charities/good causes have benefited from the money Community Books makes? How much do you think you’ve given to charities and good causes in total?
I believe we have supported around 100 local good causes over the years, some causes we support each year and this year we should hit £25k with our donations.
How does it feel for you on a personal level to be able to support so many good causes?
It’s very rewarding to have a business like this. I enjoy my day-to-day work and with being a single mum I love that my children are part of my work and they both enjoy being part of the fund-raising events. It’s a bonus at the end of each year being able to meet the organisations and give out the donations, hearing from them how our money helps them, knowing we are making a difference.
How has Community Books changed over the years, as times have changed?
Over the years we have diversified to include seasonal goods at Christmas, Easter and Mother’s/Father’s Day.
We have body bars and nose studs following the closure of other nearby shops that used to sell these items. We have several ladies that make and donate knitted wear and other items to us. I decorate wooden gifts for all occasions and personalised items which are available to order. Our newest line is memorial gifts as we were made aware there aren’t many in town and many people like something to remember a loved one.
We hold two craft fayres a year and a bingo/beetle night.
At the end of the day we are not just a book shop; many people, especially those living alone, just pop in for a chat as they don’t see anybody.
Keep up to date with events by searching for ‘Community Books’ on Facebook.