Target Who Books Donated to Schools: 9673
Inspired Donations by Other People: 416

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Donating 11,000 Books to School Libraries to support Children's Literacy

Friday, 25 October 2013

Happenstance and Kismet

We are Target Who and we are seeking help wherever we can find it to move our books into school libraries.

My wife has often teased me that I have not spoken to a single person in the last six months without at some point mentioning Target Who.  She is probably right.  I am a little obsessed about this project, but then I have seen first-hand the effect they can have on even the most reluctant reader.  

Over the summer we had Solar Panels installed and I interrupted the workmen’s tea break to tell them all about Target Who.  One or two of them even took books back for their local schools!  However a courtesy call from the company’s head office led to even greater help..

Gary Anderson was the employee who rang and what a wonderful stroke of fortune that was.  I confirmed that all had gone well with the installation and then quickly took the chance to spread the word about our little project.  Gary was very enthusiastic and loved what we were trying to do.  By the end of the call he had given me his email address and agreed to forward an open email about our project around his colleagues and friends.  Then he asked the killer question … 
“Could I pass your details on to my fiancĂ©e?  
She works for a company that regularly visits schools all over Birmingham.”
I agreed instantly and that’s how I first got in touch with the wonderful Laura Cameron.

 Laura works for Hays Education in Birmingham, who vet and supply temporary teaching staff for schools.  Laura leads the Sandwell Primary Team along with Sam Millan and together they provide an extensive service for Teaching, Teaching Assistant and Early Years support within this area. 
Laura and her colleagues helped contact an agreed number of schools in her area about Target Who.  We then arranged to drop the required number of books, pre-bundled for each interested school at Laura’s office, where they have slowly been distributing them on our behalf.  Then I asked my killer question. 
“Could I contact other Hays office around the UK and see if they would do the same for us?”

Laura agreed to help arrange this and booked an appointment with her Director, Roop Bhumbra where she explained what we wanted to do and what a positive impact they were having in the schools we had reached so far.  Roop provisionally agreed, but there were a few hurdles to jump first.  I provided Hays with my employment history, several references and undertook a police clearance check.  That finally came through last week and Hays offices managers were sent details about Target Who and informed I may be telephoning soon.

I have spent this week slowly ringing round the many offices and organising delivery help.  The response from Hays staff was been 100% positive and any schools signed up in their area will now be distributed via Hays.  So far I have spoken to the majority of the of Hays Education offices in the South of England and South Wales,  I have provisionally agreed distribution with the area manager that covers the North West of England and North Wales.  Next I will be speaking to offices in the North East.  They won’t be able to deliver to every school, but the numbers we have left to reach will be significantly lower, enabling us to focus exclusively on them.

We are Target Who and with the help and support of Hays Education our books will be heading into hundreds of schools soon.
Gary Anderson and Laura Cameron
Target Who would like to thank Gary Anderson, Roop Bhumbra, Manoj Parekh, Nathan Smith, Michael Watson and each and every one of Hays Education staff that aids our cause.

Target Who would especially like to thank the very wonderful Laura Cameron for making all this possible.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Special Delivery for Who?

We are Target Who and this month, as we hurl towards the 50th Anniversary date, we’ve been busy researching and planning some very special deliveries.  For these, we haven’t exactly broken the laws of Target Who but we are bending them a little.  We have despatched the books unannounced and paid for postage.  The costs incurred have been funded by a small group of generous Doctor Who fans, some of whom have chosen to remain anonymous.  David Dovey, Andrew Ledger, Phil Sandifer, Roger Smith, and Jason Wandby are amongst their numbers and a small number of others.  Wonderful chaps - all of them.

 The books have been sent with an enclosed letter explaining our project and the reason they have been chosen for this very special delivery.  There is also a polite request to send us something we can share with you on the blog; maybe a photo, a thank you note, or news of the pupil’s response to our little gift.  Of course schools are very busy places, and in the grand scheme of things perhaps a donation of a small number of Doctor Who books is a trivial thing to them, no matter how much placing books in their particular school may mean to us.  We may never hear back from them, but if we do we’ll share the news here.  

We are Target Who and we hope to make you smile as we slowly unveil these special deliveries.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Problems, Perseverance and Plans

We are Target Who and recently we have had a run of bad luck.  They say that bad luck comes in threes and I have already reported how I suffered a detached retina in my left eye, and how Andrew’s recent house move has left him cut off from the internet.  On Sunday our third and hopefully final serving of bad luck came our way.

The day started so well; a pleasant morning with the family and an afternoon being entertained by Steven Moffat at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, where he told us about SPOILERS.  Shortly afterwards the vision in my right eye became distorted and a trip to A&E confirmed that the retina in that eye had also detached.  I had laser surgery on Monday afternoon; I now have zero vision in my right eye, partial blurry vision in my left and a very lovely wife who is typing this on my behalf. 

However, it is not all bad news.  Andrew has finally re-joined us in the 21st century and will be and will be able to ensure Target Who emails do not go unanswered. 
Also over the last few weeks I have been having discussions with many people and laying down plans which are starting to come into fruition.  

With the help of my childhood fiend Mark Roberts and teacher Jon Biddle the books for all Norfolk schools have now reached Norwich and distribution will start next week.  We will pin them onto the map once each school confirms receipt.

We have also found someone to help distribute across Essex and if all goes to plan he should receive the books on Sunday.  Again distribution should start from next week, although due to his location, Essex based schools within the M25 will take a little longer to reach but he will endeavour to reach you as soon as possible. 

There is also a much bigger plan in the pipeline which will hopefully enable us to distribute to hundreds more schools.  This has been delayed by the need for me to update CRB clearance, but as this is now completed I hope to announce further details very soon…watch this space!

Finally, many other Target Who members have been working together on a series of VERY special deliveries which we are looking forward to announcing in the weeks leading up to Dr Who’s 50th Anniversary in November.

We are Target Who and despite these hiccups we continue to focus on getting our books into school libraries (apart from David who can’t focus on anything at present!).