My View, Mel Hewitt: Bookshop sccheme set to help hospice

Carol Peel the Manager of Grove Bookshop, Ilkley, is pictured in the Childrens Book section of the shop 25th February 2015 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Carol Peel the Manager of Grove Bookshop, Ilkley, is pictured in the Childrens Book section of the shop 25th February 2015 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

For Christmas 2013 I was a bookseller at Waterstones in the Frenchgate Centre. It was a job I had always wanted to do – just like Adrian Mole I think books are wonderful things to be around.

It was soon clear everyone I was working with felt the same way. Each member of staff seemed to have their own specialism and enthusiasm. Forever helpful and knowledgeable, it was such a pleasure to know that they were just as nice as they seemed to be when I was on the other side of the counter as a customer.

Even in the madness of the few days before Christmas when all of us festive shoppers start to have a glazed look, there was a calm and ever helpful response from the team around me.

The joy of finding a book someone may have been searching for for a long time, the thrill of being asked to recommend a book, or discussing merits of a well-loved tale were all part of the day.

It is non-stop and you are standing for most of the time but I do miss many aspects of it – if there were two of me I’d love to be there.

So I’m doubly delighted to share the news of a half-term project with Waterstones that will help the hospice.

Many children come to the hospice to see family or friends and now that our teams are settled back into the newly-refurbished building, the next step is to make sure there is plenty to do for our younger visitors.

We need to make them feel welcome and a room equipped with books, games and art materials will be a brilliant resource.

This is where you may be able to help us. Next week, there’s the opportunity to take part in some smashing activities organised by the wonderful team at Waterstones and whether you buy an item to donate or bring an unwanted gift in, anything that would be suitable for children from the age of three to 16 would be very welcome.

Even the smallest contribution helps make the biggest difference to these children’s experience with us. Anyone who wishes to donate any items for this appeal can bring them to Waterstones during half term week and leave them with a bookseller at either till point. Thank you so much.

For more details please contact Mel Hewitt on 01302 798391 or email

Just a quick reminder too that it is only five weeks on Sunday until our St John’s Cycle Sportive on July 5. You can visit to find out more.

Whether you want to take part or volunteer to help make the day run well for everyone, I hope you can join us.

Last but not least, this weekend one of our hospice nurses, Belinda, will be skydiving to raise funds for our Appeal. If you’d like to support her please contact me.

*Mel Hewitt, Community fundraiser, St John’s Hospice, Balby