We left the Isle of Skye three months ago. On 5th January we loaded car and van with no real clue where we were going or how we would get there. I had plans in place but with all the Councils and Estate Agencies closed for Christmas it was impossible to really be sure. I knew we had the use of a caravan high on a hill for as long as we needed. I knew Moray Council knew we were coming. I knew Women’s Aid knew we were coming.
Because of the circumstances, we were offered refuge in the Women’s Aid shelter in either Dingwall or Elgin, but the dog and the cat couldn’t come. They would have had to have been fostered out. I couldn’t have coped with that. I couldn’t have put Niamhy-Woof, my 15 year old lab/ collie cross and most loyal friend into foster care. So, for me, it wasn’t a real option. I was determined to find us a house, a home, a school, a beach.
Women’s Aid on Skye talked me through all my options. I had no money. I was ill. But I had to get away. I had to turn a nightmare into something else. I had to make an adventure out of all the stress. And I did. As soon as the estate agency was open for business after the Christmas, I was there, cash in hand, references sorted. They showed me this house and I took it. I took the keys and moved in that afternoon. My daughter started school the next day and Niamhy-Woof played on the beach for the last few months of her life.
It’s taken three months but we are settling. Yes, we have residual fears which we have to work through, and in that, we are still supported by Women’s Aid. Yesterday we saw the shelter we could have gone to. We visited the purpose built unit for women and children who need to flee abuse. It’s an impressive, safe, lovely place and we would have been absolutely fine. Except Woof would have died in someone else’s house.
There was one thing I noticed immediately. One thing I would like to help them with at the moment. I noticed that the shelter in Elgin has many bookcases, but hardly any books. There’s a handful of books all lonely looking, tucked into one corner of the newest bookcase. There are a few more taking up hardly any space on another book case. They have some free books like Treasures from Scottish Book Trust, which looks well read. I see they are trying to build up a library. But where are they going to get books? I can’t afford to buy the books to stock those book cases. I wish I could. But I can do something else. Here I am asking my author friends to donate just one of their titles to Women’s Aid Elgin please. I know book stock is precious to all of us, but if you can, please will you?
I will donate one or two new hot of the press of The January Flower. I will sign them for Women’s Aid. Is there anyone else out who can and will do this? Please?
Their address is Women’s Aid, 57A, Marleon Field, Silvercrest, Elgin, Moray, IV30 4GB
To anyone who does this – thank you!
Due to the incredible response yesterday from all the authors, poets, storytellers and publishers I am now coordinating the re-stocking of all the book shelves in all the Women’s Aid refuges in Scotland. I have had many messages from women who have stayed in shelters and have had nothing to read to their children, or to distract themselves from their situation. We can change this. We are changing this. By the end of today I will have a comprehensive list of addresses for anyone who wants to send a book to Women’s Aid refuges. How good does this feel?
Advice From Women’s Aid Board of Directors “please, no abuse triggers, no stories of abuse, no harrowing tales. Light, uplifting reads. Children’s books. And thank you”.
Ross-shire Women’s Aid would also love some. Their address is Ross-shire Women’s Aid, The Square, George Street, Dingwall, Scotland, IV15 9SA
Oh Orla! Glad you’re settling. I’ll send some books, and have spread the word to my very bookish twitter timeline.
Yes, glad to support this. And will donate something to make them smile, METime Tales, ironic short stories. It has its own blog at http://fictionalcharacterswriting.blogspot.com
fantastic thank you
Reblogged this on Alyssa Steel Erotica and commented:
Women’s Aid and books.
Do you need children’s or YA books as well ?
Yes, i think they probably do!
yes please, most definitely
Hello. I have a second-hand bookshop in Paris, and can surely put some books in a box and mail them to the UK. Could you please give me some indications as to what types of books would be best? Thanks. Phyllis. Berkeley Books of Paris
Phyllis, thank you, but please wait a moment while I coordinate all the author copies first.
Yes. They may not be signed – I may have to send them direct from the printer but YES I will send them.
Good luck and God* bless. 😉 May you all continue to heal.
* That’s proper real loving, love-your-neighbour-as-yourself-god: not some scary, angry, smiting judgemental hell-fire thou shalt not dude who hates everyone!
There we go. Sent. Unsigned I’m afraid but I’ll drop them a line and tell them what I’ve done.
fantastic. What a fantastic response. I wonder who else needs books?
Hi Orla, when I stayed in the women’s shelter in Inverness, 6 years ago, there were hardly any books.
I didn’t even have a bedtime story for the kids.
I wonder if they have more books now.
What you are doing is fantastic. Ax
Amanda, due to the overwhelming response of this wee blog, it does look like I will be re-stocking the book shelves of every Women’s Aid centre in Scotland!!!!
I’m not a writer but I can for sure rustle up a wee package of good-condition books in need of good homes. Would they want those, do you think?
Joanne, thank you but please can you wait a moment while i coordinate the author copies? It seems we are going to stock every refuge in Scotland with books, directly from the authors, poets and storytellers – how cool is that? Then, once that is done I know we will need every spare book as back-up. Hang in there!
No worries, that’s why I asked – I had visions of them being inundated and the last thing I want is for the staff to be dealing with books that have become a problem rather than a blessing!
yes indeed – i have the same vision!
Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs.
One copy of Cupid’s Way and a copy of my Flora Lively mystery on its way x
Thank you so much for thinking of this. I am sending some copies of my novel, The Fair Fight. It’s dedicated ‘to brave women everywhere’ and I just can’t think of a better place to send them. Anna x
Reblogged this on thrillers with attitude and commented:
This moving post by Orla Broderick, author of The January Flower, suggests a small way to make a difference.
Reblogged this on Heather Marshall and commented:
I’m putting copies of The Thorn Tree in the post in the morning. Thanks for this wonderful suggestion.
Thanks for posting. Copies of The Thorn Tree are going in the post in the morning.
Heather, thank you so much. let me know when you are in Scotland next so i can try and persuade you to do a book signing and reading at the refuge in Elgin – or maybe the one on Skye?
Orla, I’d be happy to do either, or both. Hoping to be over at the end of the year.
Orla, thank you for suggesting this. I’ll send off signed copies of my book Minty tomorrow. Good luck with stocking the library and best wishes to all at Women’s Aid.
Orla, your post really moved me. I’ll send signed copies of my novel, Minty, tomorrow. Good luck with the stocking the library.
Sending a signed copy of my book of short stories “Quick Change” which I hope will cheer them up. I’ll also rustle up some other nice books. I’m also a World Book Nigh Book Giver and will send a World Book Night copy of MC Beaton’s “Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death”. Will tweet this post to help you spread the word. Very glad to be able to help in this way.
Happy to send a copy of each of my novels.
Great idea. Happy to send books – can send my own stuff but perhaps will look for better stuff. Would kids/YA stuff be wanted, too?
They are very happy as long as there are no more horror stories detailing child abuse and such. Quite understandably.
I can’t send books, from across the Pond, but I have a suggestion to mom’s and staff: Tell the children stories featuring a protaganist who has their name. “Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Elsie who …”. I promise they will love being the hero, or heroine of their bedtime story. You can serialize with 10 mins or so at bedtime, or tell a story at “Storytime” that involves all the children. Make it up as you go alone, the serializing gives you time to plot.
Best of luck with your brilliant venture.
Such a great initiative, Orla, and wonderful to see such a positive response. I hope those bookshelves will be heaving! Sent of my novel today.
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Reblogged this on Glynis Smy: Author of Historical Romance with a Twist and commented:
All for a good cause: can you help?
I’d love to have sent one of my own books, but sadly in this instance the content has some features that folk might find difficult. Please let me know when you’re looking for books other than directly from authors – I’ll happily donate some ‘light, uplifting’ reads. Contact me via http://www.margaretskea.com This is a fantastic project.
Thank you for that. Let’s see how they all get on with the deliveries this coming week and we shall take stock of what is still needed, and where. I’ll update you and let you know. Thanks again
Thank you. Now I know what to do with the pile of books I sorted out some time ago. I will select suitable ones and hand them in to Skye Woman’s aid. And good luck in your new home
Hi Margaret, and thank you
Hello , I enjoyed the congratulations post!