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Free books for children as Marcus Rashford teams up with Frome bookshop

Winstone’s Hunting Raven Books has been out and about, delivering the first of 1,300 copies of Marcus Rashford’s book ‘You Are a Champion’ to be gifted to children in and around Frome. 

The campaign, launched in July, aimed to get 200 copies of the footballer’s inspiring and encouraging book into the hands of children who might not otherwise get the chance to read it. But Hunting Raven surpassed its original target by miles and, in a final twist of generosity, had its funding matched by Rashford’s publisher, Macmillan Children’s Books. 

Last week, deliveries began in earnest – with the first drops made to Fair Frome and Frome Town United youth football club.  Fair Frome received 500 copies of the book, and will be working to reach young readers with the help of Purple Elephant, a local charity who provides vital support services for disadvantaged and vulnerable families in Frome and surrounding villages. 

Hunting Raven manager, Tina Gaisford-Waller said, “Lenka Grimes of Fair Frome has been fully behind us all the way, and in fact an early donation from Frome Town Rotary (with whom Lenka is also involved), gave us the inspiration we needed to get our campaign off the ground. So it felt wonderful to be delivering boxes of books to Fair Frome last week. We work closely with Sue Willis of Purple Elephant all year round, so we have full confidence that these books will be reaching children whose lives they have the power to change.” 

150 copies were also delivered to Frome Town United. The FA-affiliated football club recently brought together Frome’s three former youth clubs to enable a much improved, larger club with better facilities and opportunities for its members. 

Frome Town United’s co-founder Ben Starr said, “This donation has been very gratefully received. The books will be gifted by the club to those children that come from less fortunate families, who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to purchase them. 

“Marcus Rashford’s work in the community really reflects our aspirations here in Frome. As Frome Town United progresses in maturity, we will be doing likewise work. For example, we already help people who find it difficult to pay their children’s registration fees, to ensure that money isn’t an inhibitor. We will be running a football boot recycling scheme, food banks and doing other community projects as we go forwards.” 

Hunting Raven still have a big job on their hands to deliver the remaining books – with copies going to over 30 schools and a number of additional organisations who support disadvantaged young people. They would like to thank local businesses and individuals for the extraordinary support they have shown this campaign and for every single donation made. 

Picture: Fair Frome’s Lenka Grimes, Purple Elephant’s Sue Willis, and Hunting Raven’s Tina Gaisford-Waller, with the donation of 500 copies of Marcus Rashford’s book. 

Photos by James Markham. 

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