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Youth Needs on to a winner with book exchange

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Caoimhe, Niamh and Padraic Owens at the Gorey Youth Needs book exchange

Caoimhe, Niamh and Padraic Owens at the Gorey Youth Needs book exchange

Youth worker Karen Mc Cann and Gorey Youth Needs Manager Mandi Tighe

Youth worker Karen Mc Cann and Gorey Youth Needs Manager Mandi Tighe

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Caoimhe, Niamh and Padraic Owens at the Gorey Youth Needs book exchange

Gorey Youth Needs has answered the community call and set up a pop-up book exchange that will now take place weekly on Tuesdays between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., with books available suitable for both adults and children.

It came about after youth worker Karen McCann received a number of requests for books from parents and young people, but it's fair to say that nobody expected the huge response that came when the first swap took place.

'We didn't really know what to expect from and it but we wanted to do something quirky. During the lockdown my friends and I have been dropping books to each others' doors when we can and we had a few calls looking for books to keep youngsters entertained.

'So the day before I got a few donations from friends, added them to my own along with some people from work and we decided to set it up as a car boot sale like something from a record shop,' she said.

To Karen's surprise there were people waiting at the car park on Esmonde Street at Gorey Community School before the swap had even started.

'The boot was empty twice and there were a lot of people that brought books and made big donations. We set up a kids section and an adult section, and a lot of people took about four books but left five behind them.

'Families that came with kids, they said they'd usually run into the library or the charity shops to pick up books but as they're all closed, this is brilliant'.

In the interest of safety, the team at Gorey Youth Needs wipe down every book with gloves and wipes available and adhere to social distancing, and have even recommended that if you take a book, you leave it aside for three or four days to quarantine.

The new service is free of charge, and the public can choose to keep the book or bring it back again to donate.

Karen said that she plans to change the selection every week, and that the service will keep up for the duration of the pandemic.

'It's popular so we'll go for it as long as we need to and see if it grows legs. When I was leaving after an hour, the car was stuffed to the hilt and I now have to sort them all out for next week. I think we'll have to say no more donations for the next few weeks at least'.

The exchange takes place again today (Tuesday) from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Gorey Guardian