Leamington book charity is encouraging more schools to get involved with scheme

Julie De Bastion of Own Books (centre right) at Sydenham Primary School.
Julie De Bastion of Own Books (centre right) at Sydenham Primary School.

A growing Leamington-based charity which provides free books to pupils is encouraging more schools in and around the town to join its scheme.

Now in its sixth year Julie De Bastion set up Own Books in 2014 when she was a volunteer reader at a primary school in Henley-in-Arden.

She asked several of the young children what books they had at home and, to her surprise, several of them told her they did not have any.

A charity shop gave her some books to take to the school and she set up a bookcase for the youngsters to take them home and to keep.

She then gave a presentation at the school to tell the children about the scheme.

Julie said: "Very quickly more schools found out about this and very soon we had many schools wanting the scheme .

"It grew from there and today we have more than 85 schools across the country.

"A lot has been happening in the past six years.

"We have several schools in the Leamington area and we are taking on more.

"We are funded by grants - we are a most economic organisation.

"For less than £5,000 a year we give out free books for around 65,000 children and their families to take home and keep."

"We have partnerships and collaborations with many literacy organisations and book-minded companies.

"The greatest being World of Books who are now supplying books to all of our schools no matter where they are in the country.

"Our remit now extends into offering workshops, making artwork out of very tired books and holding presentations to highlight the importance of the storytellers and for children to be read to by their parents and other family members."

For more information visit www.ownbooks.co.uk