Published: Thursday 2 March 2023
Charity the Children’s Book Project has found a new home in Golborne Road with a social investment lease supported by Kensington and Chelsea Council. A recipient of a Queen’s Award for voluntary service, the charity receives over 800,000 donations of books which it sorts and donates to schools and families across London.
The Council worked with the charity to find a place where it can be at the heart of the community, by making use of an unused space. The charity has been provided with two leases, one a social investment lease and another at a market rent. The unit let on the social investment lease provides free space for the charity to sort books and for storage use and the unit on market rent will be used as an office for the charity to operate.
Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, Lead Member for Grenfell, Housing and Social Investment said:
“Giving children the opportunity to read provides one of the best springboards in life. Liberty’s passion and enthusiasm in helping all children to enjoy books is inspiring.
“We are determined to make the best use of community space available, and this lease will support a lifelong resident who has been helping children access literature for years to move their project to a place where it can help even more people. It’s great to see the value and community benefits that social investment brings to the borough.”
The charity started life at Barlby Primary school in North Kensington, founded by local North Kensington resident Liberty Venn. After spending years at Lots Road in Chelsea, the charity has returned to a new premises next to Trellick Tower. It will formally launch on Thursday 2 March to celebrate the power of partnership and community and reflect on the impact it has made. The event starts with a tour of the new building lead by volunteers and a chance to explore the space along with opportunities to network.
Liberty Venn, Founder of the Children’s Book Project said:
"Our new premises on Golborne Road take us back to the heart of the community in which we began and we are extremely grateful to RBKC for their continued support.
"The space enables us not only to manage a very large throughput of books and to welcome over 120 volunteers each week but also to engage with local members of the community and to involve them in our work."
The Council agrees a social investment lease which offers favourable terms where the tenant is able to demonstrate a commitment to delivering pre-agreed outcomes that provide community benefit, making the borough greener, safer and fairer. A previous example includes is lifelong Notting Hill resident Usama Ghami, who transformed a run-down Portobello premises into a healthy business with a social investment lease from the Council.