Following the success of last year’s initiative customers at Blackwell’s book shop on South Bridge can once again support Edinburgh’s most vulnerable children through an exciting initiative, The Children’s Book Tree.
Blackwell’s are working with City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Women’s Aid and Edinburgh Young Carers to help make Christmas a little better for disadvantaged local children. The scheme means that children who will be living in difficult circumstances at Christmas, who have caring responsibilities beyond their years or those who won’t be at home for Christmas and will have few personal possessions, will each receive a book to treasure.

The scheme is coordinated by volunteer Lizzie Poulton who explains: “The Children’s Book Tree is different from other charity donation schemes as each child has had the opportunity to say what their interests are and what kind of books appeal to them. Customers can then choose a book for that child, knowing that it will not only be a present they’ll really appreciate, but that books and stories can inspire, reassure and provide escape for children in difficult personal circumstances.”

The children have each put their Christmas wishes for a book on a gift tag which is then hung on a Christmas tree in store. All customers need to do is choose a book they think that child will really appreciate, from dinosaurs to fairies, Jacqueline Wilson to James and the Giant Peach. Staff in the children’s department will be more than happy to help people with their selections if they are unsure. The customer than pays for that book and leaves it with staff in store who will ensure that it gets wrapped, before being distributed to the right child for Christmas day.

The Children’s Book Tree is now in store and will be until Sunday the 20th of December. Please pop by, select a tag and buy a book for a child. If you are in a rush ready-selected books with labels are placed beneath the tree or if you are unable to drop in the shop you can call Blackwell where a member of staff will be happy to select and take payment for a book over the telephone.

The tree has only been in store since 25th November and is already a success as customers shopping for Christmas presents are taking a moment to buy an extra present for a child who will be spending Christmas away from their family, in a refuge or caring for others. One child who requested a book by popular teen author Louise Rennison, will be in for an extra treat as the author herself purchased the book for that child and added a personal note, when visiting Blackwell’s this week.