Hello Bookshop! Bletchingley's New Community Hub.

by Hello Bookshop CIC in Bletchingley, England, United Kingdom

Hello Bookshop! Bletchingley's New Community Hub.
We did it
On 23rd January 2019 we successfully raised £2,492 with 86 supporters in 28 days

Let's build a bookshop for Bletchingley. We've got a lease in place, have set up a not-for-profit company and are ready to open Feb 2019.

by Hello Bookshop CIC in Bletchingley, England, United Kingdom


Have you met Bletchingley?

It's a medieval village, with a Grade I listed church, set in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. They have bucketfuls of beauty and history, a wonderful school and cosy pubs. Hello Bookshop CIC wants to bring with it a new wave of literacy, culture, crafts and creativity to help people enjoy books, feel part of their community and ultimately to improve the wellbeing and mental health of its residents.

Once the bookshop's open...

Children and families in Bletchingley will have easy access to books and media, in the village they call home, as well as regular events like storytime and crafternoons.

Bletchingley residents and people from further afield can express their creativity through writing workshops, D&D, a young adult book group – whatever there's demand for. This is critical for young people as, at the time of writing, the local youth group is sadly closed.

Older people in Bletchingley can buy books, use the free jigsaw swap, volunteer to read to little ones in intergenerational story time, or come along to Scrabble club. 

Right now it's just me

Hello! I’m Sophie. I’m so excited to be opening a bookshop in the beautiful village of Bletchingley. It’s a medieval village with pubs, a church, a choir, and so much more. No bookshop though. Yet... 

If you'd like to get involved, donate some books, join as a director, or volunteer in the shop, please email sophie@hellobookshop.co.uk. Thank you! You're wonderful for even considering it.

How the idea started

I loved going to the village library as a kid (think Matilda, but chubbier). And at University I would spend hours, and most of my student loan, at my local second-hand bookshop. 

I'm a bit older now. I've been a bookseller in Tunbridge Wells, dipped my toe into the publishing industry, written a few books, done standup, and made marketing writing my day job in London. So I've moved to Surrey to enjoy some green space and realise my lifelong dream to run a bookshop. 

How the idea grew

Did you see the Channel 4 show, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds? As part of my day job, I was working on the social media for it. Boy, did it make an impact. It really, really moved me. 

Seeing how social isolation affected the community of a people’s home was staggering. And the impact the children made was enormous. Their physical health and mental health improved in a number of weeks. Social isolation is a problem in rural communities, just like old people’s homes. I’m excited to try out an intergenerational story time at the bookshop. Just picture Bletchingley’s older population reading to the little ones. 

Growing up in a village, I was lucky I had a library. But there are families and children who don’t have access to a library or a bookshop. I want that to be a thing of the past. That's Bletchingley right now.

There are young people in Bletchingley who don’t have a youth group because there aren’t enough volunteers. They need places to play, grow and find their voice. 

And there are writers everywhere. Budding and professional. They need a creative hub too.

So far so good

We are officially incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC). A CIC is a type of company that keeps the profits within the community. Any money made goes to supporting the community of Bletchingley, initially through growing the bookshop and services we provide.

I'm building up the stock for the shop, buying and collecting books from eBay and charity shops (and I'll be donating a big chunk of my own collection).

We're crowdfunding because... 

We need money for shelving, getting hundreds more books (especially children's books!), a printer and POS system, overheads, and vital but not-so-exciting stuff like insurance and DBS (formerly CRB) checks for all volunteers. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£22 or more

£20 Voucher And Enamel Pin

A £20 voucher to use in the bookshop. Can be spent on anything we have in stock. Might we recommend: a gorgeous antique book or a whole bunch of picture books for your kids. The voucher will be emailed to you after the Crowdfunder closes. Collect the pin when you use the voucher.

£3 or more

Sponsor Storytime

Each £3 you give covers the suggested donation per child for storytime. When parents bring their child, they can choose whether to donate or, if money’s tight, accept one of the donations already made here.

£5 or more

A Mariko Aoki Thank You

We'll add your name to our supporters website list to say thank you. Anyone on the Mariko Aoki list has permission to use the staff toilet. (The Mariko Aoki phenomenon is a Japanese expression relating to the "urge to defecate that is suddenly felt after entering bookstores")

£7 or more

Hello Bookshop Enamel Pin Badge

Our beautifully designed pussycat badges are drawn by children’s book illustrator, Grace Sandford. They are quality enamel filled badges, no plastic or cardboard here. Collection only from the bookshop.

£9 or more

Hello Bookshop Enamel Pin Badge (POSTED TO YOU)

The same, quality badges, with the cost of postage added. Beautifully designed pussycat badges drawn by children’s book illustrator, Grace Sandford. These are quality enamel filled badges, no plastic or cardboard here.

£10 or more

5 of 5 claimed

£20 Voucher HALF PRICE

Get a £20 voucher for just £10. Only 5 available.

£12 or more

£10 Voucher And Enamel Pin

A £10 voucher to use in the bookshop. Can be spent on anything we have in stock. Might we recommend: some books? The voucher will be emailed to you after the Crowdfunder closes. Collect the pin when you use the voucher.

£18 or more

Hello FOMO Book Club

Can’t come to Bletchingley? Try our Hello FOMO annual membership. Same books as our local Hello Bletchingley Book Club, but we chat online, have a Skype discussion and you buy your own books. Or you can order them from us! (£2 each plus £2.95 postage within the UK).

£30 or more

A You-Shaped Limerick

Sophie (Hello Bookshop owner, former standup and poet for Lauren Laverne's BBC 6music radio show) will write you a limerick poem incorporating your name and likes/dislikes, and share it on Hello Bookshop’s social media accounts.

£35 or more

Hello Bletchingley Book Club

Annual membership to our in-person book club. Includes second-hand copy of 12 monthly titles and entry to our monthly discussion with tea and nibbles.

£50 or more

Curate The Community Shelf

Have your favourite books highlighted at the counter community shelf. We’ll order them in for you and display your written recommendations. They’ll remain up for at least two weeks and we’ll replenish any stock that’s bought.

£60 or more

Book The Back Room For A Kid's Party

Two hours for a birthday party, subject to availability. Storytime included!

£100 or more

£100 Voucher And Enamel Pin

A £100 voucher to use in the bookshop. Can be spent on anything we have in stock. Might we recommend: a whole box of books! The voucher will be emailed to you after the Crowdfunder closes. Collect your FREE enamel pin when you use the voucher.

£120 or more

6 Week Course: Storytelling For Children

Over six one-hour sessions, we'll explore storytelling through genre, narrative, character, plot, language and theme. Children attending will have a chance to learn about storytelling as well as write their own imaginative tale.

£150 or more

A Thank You Plaque

A plaque with your name on will be displayed in the bookshop. You'll be Bletchingley famous, if you aren't already!

£200 or more

Become A Bookshop Buddy

Receive a lifetime 10% discount and join the Hello Bookshop Bletchingley advisory board.

£350 or more

Masterclass: Writing For Business

Before opening the bookshop, Sophie spent 10 years honing the craft of writing for business, from local startups to big boys like Virgin Media, Netflix, EE, and more. Over 10 hour-long sessions in the event room, she’ll help you transform your business by creating: a brand tone of voice; mission statement; website copy; social media strategy, and more. (If you prefer, you can hire her to do it for you, 30% discount for Surrey-based businesses).

£3,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Sponsor The Event Room (1 Year)

We’ll name the event room after you/your business, or any name you choose at your creative request (must be kid-safe!). Every event communication (emails, ads, newsletters, ticketing pages), will thank you/your business. It’s like renaming the millennium dome The O2 Arena. Just local, like.

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