Leena’s leading the drive to boost our book lovers - The Evesham Observer

Leena’s leading the drive to boost our book lovers

Evesham Editorial 15th Jan, 2023   0

A FORMER Worcestershire Poet Laureate has embarked on a new venture for book lovers from across the county.

Leena Batchelor, who held the title from 2020 to 2021, has a new bold plan for her next project and is seeking funding to take it to the next level to secure premises.

Born from the awareness all communities need safe spaces, self-published authors struggle to find space in mainstream bookshops, local creatives have few opportunities to display their work, and pre-loved books gather dust in corners, Leena no wants to offer a home for these treasures.

Second-hand books in pristine condition are donated to families and communities with several already finding new homes over Christmas, with any worn-out tomes re-purposed into beautiful art.

The proposed shop will also provide a community hub and safe space for community or individual use, providing facilities for advice, counselling, education, with several local charities already expressing a need for this type of space.

Employment and volunteering opportunities will also be provided, and a social board available signposting advice and support for all sections of the community.

With a café on site, people will be able to sit and rest in comfort, with a freely accessible reading shelf to while away the stress of the day.

Somewhere where all are welcome, with affordable refreshments or simply a safe quiet corner if that is what is desired.

The next strand of the project will see the premises play host to various spoken word events in support of charities and events for the annual Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe Festival, which currently has no permanent home.

Already running via the website – https://scripthaven.co.uk – is a scheme supporting UK troops on deployment, believed to be the first of its kind specifically in the UK for UK troops – for the cost of a cup of tea or coffee, which is passed directly on to UK troops on deployment, our serving personnel are shown tpeople back home care.

A small token, but one which really does boost morale for those serving away from home and ready to step in at a moment’s notice to help our emergency services.

Leena has a track record of successful projects, with her acclaimed Commandery Museum exhibition in 2022 resulting in a book which is being released later this Spring, and a play “Out of the

Darkness” offered free to schools in 2021 which attracted support from Hollywood Vampires to use their music.

Visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/safe-spaces for more.

E-mail [email protected] for more about the project.


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