University shows charity spirit with generous book donation

Staff and students at Edinburgh Napier University donate almost 1,000 books to homeless charity

Date posted

5 March 2018


Last updated

15 May 2020

Kind-hearted staff and students from Edinburgh Napier University have shown their support for a cause worth reading about after donating almost 1,000 books to a local homeless charity.Edinburgh Napier Big Read
The donation drive was in aid of streetreads, an Edinburgh charity aimed at giving books to homeless readers. Since December, students and staff have been placing their old books in collection stations across the University campuses in Sighthill, Merchiston and Craiglockhart.
Recently, streetreads founder Rachel Cowan visited the Merchiston campus to pick up some of the books and was delighted by the effort.

"This is a wonderful amount and we are incredibly grateful for the donation," she said. "All of the students who kindly helped organise this - and of course, Avril Gray - are to be commended for their enthusiasm and generosity. Our homeless readers will benefit a huge amount from this project."

Rachel went on to explain how important the project is and said: “It began when a homeless girl who I was supporting a bit told me that books sometimes are more precious than food. It astonished me. I asked her to introduce me to some of the homeless guys and discovered that lots of them were readers.
“I’m told and I’ve seen with my own eyes that it’s a terribly important thing. A book is solace for the soul, it’s an escape from the terrible life homeless people are leading. It has all sorts of impact, even with literacy – it helps people who are not perhaps great readers if we can give them something that will help them.”Edinburgh Napier Big Read
The charity drive was part of Edinburgh Napier’s Big Read project, which sees copies of Detective McLevy's Casebook shared across the whole University with the aim of getting staff and students alike discussing the same book.
Avril Gray, programme leader of Edinburgh Napier’s MSc Publishing, said: "We are truly amazed by the number of donations from students and staff. Their generosity shows how giving unites us all, and there's something very special about giving a book. When you read a book, whether you enjoy it or not, you absorb it, it helps to shape your ideas and perhaps provides insight and even empathy with others.

"The #NapierBigRead is about giving books, and we wanted to start by giving books to homeless and vulnerable readers, before distributing books to the entire university community on World Book Day, Thursday 1 March.”