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Books - Books reading

Member Spotlight - The Book Trade Charity

We spoke to our member The Book Trade Charity about their work, how they have helped people in their industry during the pandemic and their plans for the future. 

Who is The Book Trade Charity?

The dedicated charity for people in the Book Trade - we help colleagues past, present and future with financial support, guidance and accommodation when they need it most. Our grants help hundreds of people each year, from booksellers affected by the Covid crisis to young entrants needing to relocate for work; from families in insecure housing to an older person who might benefit from our regular grant support. Our homes in Hertfordshire and London offer the opportunity to be part of a book trade community. We know that everyone’s circumstances are different, and we tailor our support to help make lives better, faster.

What kind of housing do you provide?

Bookbinders Cottages

Our new Bookbinders Cottages form a small and unique development of tailor-made flats in North London providing a ‘place to call home’ for young people starting their Book Trade career in London. Bookbinders Cottages comprise four new blocks set in landscaped gardens; seventeen beautifully appointed flats and studio apartments are available on a furnished basis, with affordable rents and no deposits. The development boasts a community area and a landscaped quad which will provide the perfect spot to read, relax and have a BBQ in the Summer.

The Retreat

Nestled in the Hertfordshire countryside, with excellent transport links to London, The Retreat provides homes for colleagues of all ages who have worked in the trade. People can apply to live here as the result of housing need or simply because they wish to live or retire amongst others who love books and share experience in the book trade. The Retreat can provide a “safe port” to start afresh after a difficult time.

How have you helped during Covid?

We have awarded over £220,000 in grants to booksellers and people in publishing during the Covid crisis. The fund is still open and there to support people if their income has been affected during the pandemic. Anyone working in the trade during the crisis is eligible for our grants which are there to help people to meet their rent or mortgage costs, enable people to address outstanding debts, help individuals or families with their living costs and support people with training and development.

How do you help people facing a crisis?

We are so proud of our grants programme, which provides support to people facing difficult circumstances. Last year we helped hundreds of colleagues to access financial support when they needed it most. We assisted individuals and families with relocation costs, rental deposits and much-needed furniture and gave support to many more so they could address debt issues and move forward positively with their lives.

How do you help the next generation of publishers?

We help new entrants of all ages and have a special focus on young, underrepresented people entering the trade. We provide grants for training and career development and help break down barriers such as the need for high rental deposits by providing financial support for job relocations.

What is next for The Book Trade Charity?

As the new Chief Executive, I have a huge amount to learn but feel driven by our cause and passionate about changing lives for people in the book trade. I am lucky that our team is incredible, and I couldn’t ask for more professional, compassionate and dedicated colleagues. I know that together we will create some incredible programmes to help those in the book trade to withstand crisis and to recover from the challenge of the pandemic.