A new partnership for The Rainbow Library

The Rainbow Library has always been about getting books into the hands of the children who really need them. That’s why I set up libraries in local nurseries, primary schools and community groups that cater for children from disadvantaged areas. I have had some lovely success stories and have seen children go from using The Rainbow Library to signing up at the town library and learning to read fluently. It is such a joy to support these kids.

And that’s why I have started a new partnership with a charity who directly support children from disadvantaged areas.

Home-Start helps families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them. They provide one to one support for parents through their volunteer scheme. Volunteers visit the family’s home for a couple of hours every week and tailor-make their support to the needs of the parents and children. They support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. This is hands-on support right at the most crucial time in children’s development. I really believe in Home-Start and the difference they make to children’s lives.

I will be working with Home-Start to supply them with new and gently used quality books for the children they support across Sussex. These books will be given to the children to keep and will help the volunteers to support their families. I delivered the first crate of books to my local branch earlier this week – just in time for the children to get a new book each before Christmas.

The first five years of a child’s life are crucial for their development and well-being and have a direct impact on their future opportunities. I know I am preaching to the converted, but adding books into the mix here will help support these children reach and fulfil their potential.

I am really proud to support Home-Start and am excited about what we can achieve together.

Here’s half of the first delivery:


How can you help?
Support local.
Have a look for a Home-Start branch locally to you. Perhaps you could donate some books directly to them?
Pop a present in the post.
I will be putting together the next box of books for Home-Start in the New Year. You can help Home-Start’s wonderful volunteers to get books into the hands of the children who really need them by popping a book in the post for me to include in their next delivery. Why not add a book to your Christmas shopping list, or dig out a book that has been gently loved but is no longer read. Home-Start work with families with children under five but often there are older siblings, so any children’s books will be gratefully received. Anything that is sent to me labelled for Home-Start will make its way to the Home-Start children in the new year.

Carmen Haselup
The Rainbow Library
19 Headland Way
East Sussex

Finally, a huge thank you to all the publishers, authors, illustrators and booky peeps who send me books. I really couldn’t keep The Rainbow Library going without you. Special thanks to Sam Lloyd, Clara Vulliamy, Hilary McKay and Elli Woollard for donating their beautiful books to The Rainbow Library, some of which are on their way to Home-Start children as you read this. Thanks to Pavilion, Hodder, Orchard, Templar, Big Picture Press, Gecko, Bounce, ChildsPlay, Faber and Faber, Allen & Unwin, PatrickGeorge, Parragon, Salariyah and Frances Lincoln who have sent wonderful review books that have been included in the first Home-Start delivery. And last but not least, big hugs to Caroline Martin and Emily for passing on such well loved and well looked after books.

Here’s to a Merry booky Christmas and a Happy New partnership!
I’ll keep you all posted 🙂


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