|Arriving soon at a school in Yorkshire|
Friday, 21 June 2013
WE are Target Who. The WE is in capital letters to emphasise the group nature of our project. Today we received some wonderful publicity in TES magazine, but reading it through I’m concerned that many of the teachers discovering about us via it may think it’s just me driving this project forward. This is not the case.
At the very beginning 30 of us came together to purchase the 14,000 Doctor Who books that are slowly spreading out across the World. Wonderfully those people hailed not just from the UK, but Eire, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Ukraine. Without any of those people, some of whom have chosen to remain anonymous, Target Who would not exist. Initial decisions were taken as a group, long before we announced ourselves to the world.
If there is such a thing as ‘Target Who Headquarters’ it exists only in cyberspace connecting Andrew Ledger and I across the 85 miles we physically live apart. Together we form the driving force of this project, sharing responsibility for replying to the hundreds of emails we have received and organising both publicity and help to get our books to where they need to be. Here is a rare photo of Andrew and I together surround by most of the Target Who hoard.
Yes all those stacks behind us ARE Doctor Who books. Each pack contains 100 copies of a particular title (though some unfortunately have not survived the 25-30 years they’ve been in storage and need to be discarded). We have deliberately been holding back photographs of the entire hoard we have for schools. Photos used so far, as impressive as they are, have only contained a small number of our books! All those pins appearing in the South of England of the Target Who pin map are the work of Andrew, running around delivering or organising friends and family to help move books to the places they need to be … in school libraries.
It’s not just Andrew and I distributing books though. We have another team member up in Leeds who is working just as hard as Andrew and I. This is Dave (the other Dave, why are there always two Dave’s!) from Leeds.
He’s Target Who’s very own dispatch rider and he recently spent his 21st Wedding Anniversary traveling round Yorkshire with his wife delivering Target Who books to schools! Wow! Such dedication to our cause! Hopefully Dave treated his wife to a slap up Anniversary lunch in the middle of the day! Not content with only covering Yorkshire, Dave has also organised delivery routes that will be heading to Liverpool and Ayr soon. He is hard at work arranging ways to reach other locations too.
Then there are other members of the team all delivering what they can where the can. Andy in the West Midlands, Roger covering South Birmingham and parts of Gloucester, our man in Derby who will also be dropping in Nottingham. We also have members in other locations that are too busy to help at present but keep threatening to collect books and start distributing after the summer break.
Then we have the relatives of various Team members that have already helped with drops in Wales, Rotherham and Birmingham. Many more drops by our friends and relatives are currently being arranged.
Finally there are the teachers and librarians that have volunteered to help. We have schools offering to act as hubs in Sussex, Cardiff, Ayr, Fareham and other locations. This is enabling us to drop books addressed for multiple schools in a single location. It’s far easier to persuade a friend to drop a large box of books at a single school while traveling to another area. It’s much more difficult, if not impossible, to persuade them to take a tour of schools in that area and undertake a number of individual deliveries.
Some schools are even collecting their books (or the books for their entire area with the agreement of other local schools) while passing one of our hubs. This is an open offer to any schools already signed up. I live a few minutes’ drive from Junction 11 of the M5 and may be able to arrange to meet any teacher’s passing by. Dave in Leeds can meet anyone at Ferrybridge Services on A1/M62 junction, or at York or East Leeds locations. If you are driving our way and we can get the books to YOUR school faster this way please drop us and email and we will try to arrange to meet you.
Another potential plan to speed up delivery is that one weekend after the summer holidays I’m looking at traveling down to London for the day and sitting at an agreed location in Central London to meet and hand over books to any London schools that have signed up. Given the sheer scale of London we realise it is going to take a very long time to try and hand deliver each set individually across the boroughs. We therefore want to give schools the opportunity of helping us speed up your delivery by arranging to meet one of us to personally collect. When/if this happens it will be well publicised in advance and we will contact all London and possibly Essex schools via email well in advance to advise you of the date.
So, as you can see, Target Who is lots of people really - lots of people working together, giving up their free time and energy all in an attempt to encourage and inspire children in schools up and down the country to pick up a book. In fact, YOU could be part of Target Who too and you just don’t realise it yet, because Target Who is anyone who supports this incredible aspiration we have, including all those individuals across the globe that have been in touch telling us THEY have donated a book or two to THEIR local school – they are Target Who as well. We are ALL Target Who….