Sara Knowles organised the book fair to raise money for Hawthorn Primary School, Llandaff North. Credit: Sara Knowles

Book fair raises £250 to keep Llandaff North’s children reading

Residents raised money to buy books for children at Hawthorn Primary School

LLANDAFF North residents have raised £250 at a book fair to buy books for a nearby primary school.

Sara Knowles, who lives in Llandaff North, arranged the book fair at The Railway Hotel on Station Road to fundraise for Hawthorn Primary School.

The 54-year-old is senior library assistant at Cardiff University and was previously a teacher, so she understands the importance of having books in schools. She wants to get more free books into the primary school as it’s a small school right in the heart of the community.

Sara said: “You’re giving them a gift for life. If you can teach a child to read, if you can inspire them with amazing illustrations, with incredible pictures, with fact and fiction, for many children you’re giving them a skill for life.

“For many children you’re giving them an opportunity to escape. I think reading is the key to everything.”

Books on display at the fair in the marquee outside The Railway Hotel, Llandaff North. Credit: Sara Knowles

The library assistant works with Usborne, which publishes children’s books and run events through its partners to get more free books into schools.

“We offer the opportunity to get books for free into the school without affecting their budget at all,” said Sara.

“I arranged a book fair independent of the school. The school had to do no work at all.

“The only thing I asked the school to do was advertise the book fair to the parents. So I created a poster and I sent them that so that every parent would know it was on.”

Parents of school children came to the fair but locals with no tie to the school also showed their support.

Sara Knowles organised the book fair to raise money for Hawthorn Primary School, Llandaff North. Credit: Sara Knowles

The book fair had a food and drinks stall manned by Ian Liddle and Samantha Birks, The Railway’s landlords, and also had several small business stalls.

Chloë Vinney sold cards and prints from her small business, CV.handmade, at the fair.

The 28-year-old said: “I’m always happy to support local where I can, and this was a perfect way to meet new people, support the school as well as our local pub. It’s always nice to see the support of the locals on the community Facebook page too.

“All profits on my children’s prints are going towards the books, plus a donation from anything sold in the day.

“The book fair had such a lovely atmosphere. Families, people passing by and locals who often support Llandaff North initiatives came by. It’s always a great day when Sam and Ian host at The Railway pub.”

Sara also received help from local businesses through community book pledges and donations.

“Lots of business have a little bit of spare cash. They like to do things for their local community. Hawthorn is a tiny primary school in the middle of our community so it was the perfect opportunity,” said Sara.