- To ensure all children in Early Years settings across the UK have access to characters that represent them
- To support children in Early Years to understand equity and diversity and be inclusive
- To empower children to embrace their identities and be proud of who they are
About Sandy's Stories
As an Early Years Practitioner, I am very aware of the need to provide children in Early Years with resources that represent their world. Books and stories have the power to open up discussions about any topic and allow children the opportunity to see their potential. Children with disabilities; from non traditional families and from minoritised ethnic groups are particularly underrepresented in books in Early Years. In order to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in communities and wider society, we need to start with Early Years but there is a real struggle to source and afford resources with such restricted budgets.
I set up Sandy's Stories in memory of my dad, Sandy Walker, to provide free book packs to Early Years Settings around the UK to ensure all children have access to stories that represent them and their world as well as promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.
What do we hope to achieve?
In 2021, there were approximately 80 thousand registered Early Years providers in the UK. Our vision is to provide each setting with a free pack of books to support all children to be represented as well as promoting equity, diversity and inclusion within settings and communities.
Each pack of books contains 8 books (worth around £70 in total) around different themes: Celebrating Cultures; Understanding Disability; and LGBTQ Families. Early Years Settings are invited to apply for the pack they feel would be of most benefit to their setting via our social media pages:
What have we done so far?
We launched in June 2022 and were overwhelmed with 100 orders within days of launching. The feedback we are getting from Early Years Practitioners is that these books are desperately needed to allow children the opportunity to interact with characters that represent them as well as to promote more acceptance and understanding of those that are different from them.
Initially Sandy's Stories was entirely self funded and we have provided over 200 books so far...
Syresham Nursery recieved an Understanding Disability pack: "We are loving our new books! The children and the staff - love the black book of colours! Thank you so much."
Boothroyd Primary Nursery:
"Thank you @stories_sandy for the very kind gift. I love them all but especially The Black Book of Colours, text, Braille and raised pictures, the photos don’t do it justice"
Crazy Crew Childcare recieved a LGBTQ Families pack: "They're here!!!! And we love them! Thank you so much, love seeing my older mindees reading to the little ones"
Little Fawns Outdoor Nursery: "@stories_sandy thank you SO much for the free LGBTQ families book pack!! I can’t wait to share these wonderful stories with all the little people I have the pleasure to spend my days with"
Rowantree ELC recieved a Celebrating Cultures pack: "It's been hectic so only now am I finally getting to read through the fantastic books @stories_sandy sent us. Already getting loads of ideas from them and I know the children will love them and come up with more."
Parkland Primary School:
"Huge thank you to @stories_sandy for this wonderful selection of books for my setting. I can’t wait to share them with staff, children and families."
"The books we received have already had a positive impact for the children. Thank you"
However the current level of demand means we are seeking more ways to allow us to continue providing books. We have set up an Amazon Wish List to allow people to donate books from our packs directly to us. In addition, we have been reaching out to publishers to seek support and secured support from Macmillan Children's Books; HarperCollins Publishers; Bloomsbury; Graffeg; Scholastic; Faber & Faber; Walker Books; Abrams and Chronicle; Pinnacle; Oxford University Press; Otter-Barry Books; Hachette; Quarto and Mighty Books LLC in providing books at a greatly reduced price.
How can you help?
Sandy's Stories is funded entirely through passionate people who believe in the power of books to make the world a little bit kinder. To fulfill our vision of providing every Early Years Provider in the UK with a pack of books would cost £6.2 million.
We currently have 800 settings on our waiting list and are receiving new requests every day.
We are seeking to raise £10, 000 through Crowdfunder to provide at least another 200 packs to Early Years Settings.
We appreciate each and every donation that gets us a step closer to our goal. Thank you so much for your support.