A dynamic group of volunteers from Hastings Furniture Services (HFS) has taken over an empty shop in Devonshire Road, Bexhill, and filled it with free books to encourage people to enjoy reading and raise funds for the local charity.
The volunteers are making use of the empty shop, keeping it aired and open while the landlord looks for a commercial tenant.
In the meanwhile, the shop has been filled with books that might otherwise have gone to waste.
Customers can choose any three books for free, but donations are encouraged by the volunteers who have chosen to donate every penny raised to local charity HFS.
The funds raised will be used to support DIY and craft skills sessions for women in local refuges.
HFS runs the sessions for survivors of domestic violence to boost their confidence, self-esteem and provide some practical useful skills to help them maintain and improve their next home safely using low cost and reused materials.
The women say they thoroughly enjoy the supportive, calming creative sessions. Learning how to put up shelves, upcycle gifts and wire plugs are all useful skills for the women to take with them when they move on from the Refuge to their new home with their children.
Volunteer Cathy Wilson said: “I am very happy to be part of a volunteer group that have save thousands of books from landfill.
“It’s great to see people browsing the books and enjoying reading. It’s also very sociable; people love to chat so I’ve got to know more people in Bexhill and I work with a lovely group of fellow volunteers. Joining with HFS means we’re raising funds for a practical, worthwhile local cause.”
Naomi Ridley from Hastings Furniture Services, said: “The volunteers have an inspiring enthusiasm for preventing waste and encouraging people to read, and we’re delighted that they have chosen to raise funds for our Refuge training project.
“HFS has been able to provide some support for the project by furnishing the shop, including a comfy reading area and some furniture for the storytelling sessions the volunteers plan to run soon.”
The volunteers would welcome more helpers so if you would like to help get in touch with the shop or HFS to discuss joining the team. The bookshop at 50 Devonshire Road and the HFS store in London Road, Bexhill, are both open 6 days a week.
The charity also has an outlet at Dorset Place, Hastings. For more visit www.hfs.org.uk.
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