Bootle-based youth charity Ykids are about to launch an exciting new project in Bootle Strand Shopping Centre.
Kingsley and Co will be a Victorian Steampunk Explorer-themed bookshop, coffee shop and literacy project which aims to encourage children to gain a joy of reading and thus improve their literacy, ability to imagine, enquire and explore, thus improving their long term education, employment and life chances.
YKids are looking for support from the community in a number of ways
- Donations of good quality second-hand children’s books
- Donations of Victorian ( or steampunk) ephemera (Victorian clutter and junk and strange objects)
- A book collection coordinator (with a car)
- Story Tellers to run sessions with children and families
- Coffee shop workers to serve drinks and cake
- Book sorters to load shelves and sort out donations
- Creatives to help with workshops and develop quirky products
- A shop coordinator
- A volunteer coordinator
The charity is looking for volunteers to donate anything from a couple of hours a month to a few days a week, and are holding a two-day Volunteer Drop-In for people to find out more about how they can get involved.
The Volunteer Drop-In will be taking place from 10am – 5pm on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th September at Kingsley & Co on the Lower Mall of Bootle Strand Shopping Centre.
The bookshop will also feature a hidden classroom, modelled after Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine, a small coffee shop, moving bookshelves, interactive displays, dressing up and more.
The project will deliver free after school creative literacy and story telling workshops, clubs, story times, ‘Meet the Author’ events and is situated in the heart of the popular, local shopping centre.
It will also sell good quality second hand children’s books at just £1 making them affordable for every child. Ykids chose the theme of explorer so as not to limit young people’s imagination as they can explore the past, present and future and anywhere in time and space, reality or fiction. The Victorian theme expresses the old while the steampunk theme expresses the future/ fantasy and technology.
Bootle is ranked in the bottom 6% of the UK for literacy and more than a third of adults lack the literacy expected of an 11-year-old, reinforcing the cycle of disadvantage, yet studies show that children who read for pleasure have better mental health, better literacy and achieve better outcomes in life. Many of the jobs that young people will be doing in the future will have not been invented yet and therefore they need to learn to be versatile, imaginative and mentally agile. Ykids believe that Kingsley and Co will help disadvantaged children to gain skills that will set them up for a better future.
If you would like to contribute to this, details of the Volunteer Open Days can be found below.