Usborne Books at Home

Skip to main content

Organiser of the Month - Zoe Shankley

26th September 2017

We love hearing about all the incredible things our Organisers are doing with their businesses. September's Organiser of the Month used her business as a fundraising platform to provide books for underprivileged children.

Zoe was nominated by her team leader, Rona McColgan, who says that Zoe is a joy to work with.

"Zoe joined my team last year having found me on the USBAH widget, and joined initially for something for herself. Zoe is a grandmother who works full-time, looks after her gorgeous grandchildren and volunteers for Guide Dogs Scotland. She is also incredibly enthusiastic and will embrace any opportunity to 'do some Usborne'! Despite only having joined at the end of the year, she attended Gala (where we first met) and has been at every local training or catch up that she can, sharing her enthusiasm and positivity.

The past couple of months, she has been even busier! Working closely with a 'Home Start' charity in Dundee, she had been fundraising to provide books for underprivileged children. Zoe embodies everything that is 'make a difference' about Usborne. From the fellow Organisers she comes in contact with, to the families and children she meets, to her own personal life! She is a complete star and I couldn't be prouder to have her in our team. 


Zoe shares her Usborne story with us:

"I love books, particularly children's books and especially Usborne children's books.

I grew up with books, as did my children and now I have a bookshelf for my gradndaughter when she comes to visit. I also love meeting people that share this passion.

At the end of last year, I was looking for a new challenge. It had to be something that I enjoyed and would be flexible enough to fit in with my full-time job.

I did some research and found Usborne Books at Home. It was perfect - here was the opportunity to sell fabulous children's books, meet lots of interesting people, see children enjoying books and improving their literacy - exactly what I was looking for. And it was only £38 to get started.

I joined in November 2016 and I can honestly say it's the best thing I've done. Usborne Books at Home provides tremendous support and marketing resources to get you started and help run your own business. In addition, you are assigned a mentor and have the support of a fantastic network of like-minded Independent Usborne Organisers who will encourage you along the way. It doesn't feel like work!

Home-Start is one of the leading family support charities in the UK which helps families with young children deal with the challenges they face. They support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.

I wanted to raise £500 to be able to donate a collection of children's books that could be shared amongst the people supported by Home-Start Dundee. Books are vital not only to support the development of reading skills but are also a resource to encourage interaction between families, build relationships and inspire the imagination.

So far, I have raised £523 for Home-Start Dundee during September, and I'm hoping to see more donations and sponsorship money coming in next week. The money will buy books to be used at Home-Start group meetings, home visits and as borrow bags. The money has been raised from company and personal donations, book sales, and I'm hoping to collect money from Ready, Steady...Read(s) by local Brownies next week.

We launched the campaign at a family group meeting on the 6th September. The press were invited but sadly turned up after the event! Oor Wullie made a guest appearance - a local hero in Dundee! We had a competition to 'find the duck', a prize draw, and all children that attended received a 'That's Not My...' book. On display was the complete 'That's Not My...' collection, with the remaining books being used in the borrow bags.

I have already been in contact with Home-Start Kincardine and would like to roll this out to other Home-Start groups across the area.

I have to say this has been one of the most satisfying projects I've worked on. Love my job!"


Congratulations Zoe! A copy of our September Book of the Month will be on its way to you very soon.

Nominations for Organiser of the Month...

We look forward to receiving all nominations. You may nominate yourself or any other Organiser. Please email your stories to along with your name and Organiser number. Good luck!