Story

My first was Airyhall Library in Aberdeen. Apparently I would insist on carrying the books home myself, tucked under my arm, even though most of them banged against my ankles. Then came Saturday mornings at Epping Library, with a stop at the Golden Iris sweet shop on the way home. And Rock Road Library in Cambridge. And Glasgow University Library where the whole city was spread beneath you and the wind nearly blew you right out of your desk on the 8th floor. And Cambridge University Library which smelt equally of scones and desperation. And now Bibliothèque Chaptal and trying to explain to my son that you CANNOT check out the fire extinguisher. When I was little I PLAYED libraries with the date stamp from Dr Dad's desk. 15 years after that my 'career orientation test' came back ... librarian. And so now, when people kept asking about 40 ... insisting I must absolutely have something to "keep", the answer was suddenly very clear. I want a library. Or rather, I want to give other children what I had. Endless, free, reading. Space to dream and space to imagine. Books you never thought you'd like, and did. Books that made your eyes wide and your curls stand on end. Books that took you somewhere else. Books that made time stop and the future race ahead, beckoning.
Constructing a 'forever' library in Africa with 'Room to Read', the charity I already volunteer for, costs £13,000. I'll be honest. I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to raise this sum. But I will do it, in this, my year of 40. And I'm starting here, today. And the second part of this promise? Some time in my 40s I will visit that library. Sit down between the shelves and dive in. With all the other kids. And just get lost again in books.
Here, at so-called 'mid-life', it's the best gift I could give or have. Here goes ....

Updates 0

Raising money for

Room To Read

Room To Read

Charity Registration No. 1125803

Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working with communities, partner organisations and governments, we develop literacy skills, a habit of reading, and support girls to complete school.

Raising money for

Run by Room To Read

Charity Registration No. 1125803

Donations 83

You're doing a fantastic job Catherine. Happy memories of hippos and Book Bus days, where we saw first hand the need for libraries.

Donation by Pauline on 19/04/16

£100.00

+ £25.00 Gift Aid

Thanks for the poems!

Donation by Nick on 01/04/16

€40.00

Selling second hand books - Arn&Todd

Donation by Anonymous on 19/03/16

€40.00

The best surprise goodbye party in the world ... EVER! Treasuring my Paris Girls (& missing you already ...) Mille mille mercis xxxxx

Donation by Catherine Galloway on 19/03/16

Woop woop, you made it past the half way mark, go Catherine! That library is now within sight...Thank you for being such a wonderful and inspiring person, and for your great taste in poetry!

Donation by Marilyn on 08/03/16

€80.00

Sending you so much love for Mother's Day!

Donation by Emma Wilson on 07/03/16

£40.00

+ £10.00 Gift Aid

Over half way there Catherine! Go you!

Donation by Issi Bannerman on 17/02/16

£20.00

Happy Valentine's day, dearest Catherine, and thank you for celebrating with poetry. Sending lots of love xxx

Donation by Emma Wilson on 14/02/16

£40.00

+ £10.00 Gift Aid

We are so proud of you

Donation by Your boys on 14/02/16

€100.00

How kind of you to be doing this.

Donation by Anonymous on 13/02/16

£50.00

Great idea!

Donation by Cordelia Hebblethwaite on 13/02/16

£40.00

+ £10.00 Gift Aid

LOVING the poems!

Donation by Jenny Ferguson on 10/02/16

€40.00

Go Cupid, go!! Xxx

Donation by Martin H on 09/02/16

£50.00

+ £12.50 Gift Aid

A love poem prescription for Matthew Hurt, who loved cheese but will appreciate the non-cheesy.

Donation by Anonymous on 06/02/16

Gifts of poems as a late birthday present and as a wedding anniversary present

Donation by Anonymous on 05/02/16

£40.00

+ £10.00 Gift Aid

thankyou for adding colour to my January! Rach xxx

Donation by Rach Stocker on 02/02/16

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Thanks for the wonderful poems! Great to see the total creeping up toward the target. Go go go!

Donation by Caroline on 26/01/16

What you are doing is amazing!

Donation by Nadia on 25/01/16

£30.00

+ £7.50 Gift Aid

Poetry prescriptions for Jenny, Monique & Nancy

Donation by Anonymous on 21/01/16

Well done Catherine, you are a star!

Donation by Anonymous on 17/01/16

£30.00

+ £7.50 Gift Aid

Dear Catherine Cheering you on from Aberdeen and wishing this heartening project resounding success. You are an inspiration to us all. Bonne chance!

Donation by Margaret Donald on 06/01/16

£100.00

+ £25.00 Gift Aid

A special birthday present

Donation by Anonymous on 05/01/16

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 05/01/16

€50.00

Hi Catherine. I'm Ray. I'm a friend of Todd Chavanne. He told me to donate to your cause.

Donation by Ray Sadighi on 05/01/16

$30.00

Cath, you have such passion for this cause I cannot help but continue to support! I can't wait to see the library someday!

Donation by Todd Chavanne on 05/01/16

$400.00

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£7,247.95
  • Offline donations£0.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£7,247.95
  • Gift Aid£563.75

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.