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Organiser of the Month - Rachel Ayres

21st January 2020

We love hearing about ways our Organisers use their businesses to give back to their local communities. Since starting her Usborne journey in October 2019, our January Organiser of the Month has worked tirelessly to get as many books as possible into the hands of local children.

Rachel was nominated by her mentor, Lucy Shilcock:

"Rachel is a teacher who joined my team because she feels passionately about having children having access to books. Not only has she worked her socks off to build her customer base and get her business off to a flying start, but she's used some of her commission to buy gifts for children from underprivileged backgrounds.

Rachel is always going the extra mile for her customers. I'm so incredibly proud of her! She is such a fantastic ambassador for Usborne and I'm so pleased she's getting the recognition she deserves."

Rachel shares her Usborne story with us:

"In June 2019 I set up a project called Seaford's Secret Books. The project is fully funded by my own money or donations from my local community. I hid books around my local town in East Sussex so that children can find them, read them, and then hide them again for other children to find. So far my project has 693 members and over 100 books have been hidden!

One night I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post from my now-mentor, Lucy Shilcock, advertising the Usborne Books at Home opportunity. I made contact and we discussed my project and how I could incorporate Usborne books into it. Ever since then, Usborne has been a big part of my life!

I have been an Organiser since October 2019 and I have hosted stalls at least three weekends every month. A highlight has been providing books for a Santa's Grotto where over 100 children attended – each left with an Usborne book! When one stall didn't go so well, I decided to give each child an Usborne picture book as a Christmas gift, knowing that it may have been the only Christmas present they would receive this year.

Some stalls went really well and others were awful – but that didn't stop me! I wasn't personally doing it to make extra money, but I have a happy heart knowing that I'm promoting children's books and raising awareness of the fact that books are important for all ages.

My biggest 2019 highlight was when a couple turned around to me and said "we don't need books because our baby isn't born yet!" I immediately responded by explaining that babies can hear from inside the womb, and reading to them from an early age is really beneficial. The couple were gobsmacked and bought £60 worth of books there and then!

My 2020 goal is to work with more schools and nurseries. I already have a few schools showing interest which is great, and I have filled my diary with fêtes, book fairs, markets and charity events. I have also organised my own charity event to fundraise for Prostate Cancer, and have planned to create Easter packs – whenever I make an order and receive books, I will donate them to local nurseries.

If I had to offer once piece of advice it would be to just go for it and jump in at the deep end. I didn't think I would have the confidence, but it just appeared from somewhere! Start up both a group and a page on Facebook and advertise your services through local groups – try and book as many stalls as you can throughout the year!"

Congratulations, Rachel, and thank you for sharing your story with us. A copy of our January Book of the Month will be on its way to you shortly.

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 marketing@usbornebooksathome.co.uk along with your name and Organiser number. Good luck!