Free book shop left ‘in limbo’

Volunteers say the free books and community service in the Fishergate Centre is at risk
Volunteers say the free books and community service in the Fishergate Centre is at risk
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Volunteers at a free book shop have launched an appeal for donations after they were left in “limbo”.

The shop in Preston’s Fishergate Shopping Centre had been part of the Healthy Planet Foundation, but workers say the environmental charity has now “ceased trading”.

The news has left the shop facing an uncertain future, as well as a shortage of books, and volunteers are asking people across Preston to help out.

David Parker, senior lead volunteer, said: “We don’t know what’s happening with the premises because we were under the Healthy Planet and they have now ceased trading. We are in a state of limbo.

“We are carrying on as normal at the moment, but we don’t know how it’s going to affect us.

“Since we opened we’ve given away a quarter of a million books since we moved in here between 12 and 18 months ago. We’ve moved an awful lot of books free of charge.

“Now, because we’re not Healthy Planet, we are asking people to donate 20p a book towards running costs.”

He added: “We need lots and lots of books, Healthy Planet used to supply us with books.

“So we need libraries, old school books, anything where anybody has got books they no longer need, we could certainly use them.

“In the meantime, we are keeping going as much as we can but, eventually, if the number of books carry on as they are, I think we’ll run out of books.

“We’ve something in the region of about a month of books without any donations coming in.

“So anybody with spare books, we’ll have them. We don’t want any books going to recycling, we’ll recycle them by giving them to people to read.”

Fellow volunteer Jan Whitfield added: “We don’t even know if we are going to be able to stay there, because of the plans for the Fishergate.”

The Healthy Planet Foundation could not be reached for a comment.