Book lovers in Warrington have helped to boost a £1 million charity appeal for the Syrian refugee crisis.
They have snapped up adult and children’s titles at Waterstones book store in Golden Square Shopping Square – with all the proceeds going to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.
The store is almost halfway to its target of £3,000 as part of the company-wide Buy Books for Syria campaign to support Oxfam’s appeal.
Store staff took the appeal from the shop out into Golden Square with a stand on the mall, offering a selection of best selling books by top authors including Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Jaqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson.
The titles include Alice in Wonderland, penned by Lewis Carroll – who grew up as Charles Dodgson in Daresbury.
The writers and Waterstones are donating every penny from the sales of each book to the Oxfam appeal to help those fleeing the crisis in Syria and the Middle East.
Waterstones manager Matt Harrop said: “We’ve all been moved by the images we’ve seen on the news of the refugee crisis and we’re proud that our bookshop has had the opportunity to come together with the local community and the Oxfam Syria Crisis appeal to help to alleviate the suffering of those affected.
“The books that have been donated are some of the best around and would be a joy to sell in any circumstances – with all the proceeds going to such a good cause, it’s no wonder our customers were so supportive.”
Golden Square director Ian Cox was delighted with how well the appeal was received by shoppers.
He said: “We are all aware of the severity of the refugee situation in Syria and it’s great to be able to do something to help. Waterstone’s approached us as they had been successfully backing the campaign in store and wanted help with a final push.
“We were delighted to assist Waterstones and our customers didn’t let us down with their generosity and support.”
Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring said he was grateful for every penny raised by Waterstones at Golden Square and the company’s other stores across the country.
He said: “With this £1 million our programme could deliver clean water to another 150,000 people in Syria, or support to tens of thousands of people in Jordan over the next year.
“This help is urgently needed as the conflict in Syria shows no sign of ending.”
The scheme has won the full backing of a host of chart-topping authors.
Ian Rankin, author of the bestselling Rebus books, said: “It’s great to see Waterstones uniting with publishers and authors to raise money for Oxfam’s work with Syrian refugees. Buy a book, help save a life.”
Echoing his thoughts, writer David Nicholls added: “This is a wonderful initiative, turning our passion for the written word into practical help at a time of terrible crisis.”
Novelist and columnist Caitlin Moran said: “This is the biggest refugee crisis in history – 60 million people, world-wide, are displaced, half of them children – threatening both the stability of the Middle East and Europe, and our own sense of compassion, and the value we put on human life.
“Whilst the governments of this world still fail to come up with a solution to this problem, I am proud to do as millions of others have, and say ‘We see you, we hear you, we will not let you suffer this alone. We promise – help is coming’.”
Notes to Editor
Golden Square Shopping Centre is in Warrington. The centre now has over 675,000 sq. ft. of top retail outlets including Primark, Debenhams, H&M, Next, Topshop, River Island, Beaverbrooks, Republic, Oasis, and Boots. For more information visit: www.gswarrington.com