Free bookshop raises £11,000 amid Rotherham literacy crisis

by | Oct 19, 2023

Image: GET bookstore volunteers with MP Sarah Champion (in red jacket)

In an effort to combat Rotherham’s literacy crisis, a free bookshop in Rotherham Town Centre has hit an £11,000 fundraising milestone. 

The Global Educational Trust’s (GET) Free bookshop was opened in September 2020 in response to the historically low literacy rates in Rotherham. 

According to the 2023 Rotherham Data Hub, only 59% of Rotherham Primary School children reached the expected standard for education, including literacy targets. This was a decrease from 2017 where the average was 61%.

Sheila Etches, 70, lead volunteer, expressed how grateful she was for the support of the community. 

Miss Etches said: “It is thanks to the generous contributions [GET] is good for Rotherham as it has not got the best reputation.” 

The success of the project has drawn in a large number of Rotherham Alumni including Councillor Chris Read and Rotherham MP Sarah Champion. 

The project also promotes reading for adults, boasting a large variety of literature for the community to read, which can be taken to keep from the library free of charge. 

Image of the Global Educational Trust’s bookshop

Miss Etches said the team are continuing to raise money: “We are well on our way to raising £12,000.

“We are doing so well. The atmosphere is really friendly. It has become a bit of a hub and now we have got out tables for the children as well as the elderly, to come in and have a natter.” 

The Bookstore is located on College Walk, Rotherham and is open to the public on weekdays.