Blackwell and Waterstone’s reveal charity campaigns

Blackwell and Waterstone's have unveiled two charity campaigns in the run-up to Christmas.

The academic retailer is launching a charity Christmas Wishing Tree campaign in eight of its major stores over the next two weeks. Led by its flagship Charing Cross Road branch, Blackwell will invite children represented by local charities into shops to choose a book they would like as a gift, then hang it on a tag on a wishing tree inside the shop, enabling customers to buy the book for the child. To launch it, Blackwell is donating £500 of children’s books at trade prices to the campaign and asking partners it has a corporate relationship with, including publishers, to participate.

The campaign will have backing from celebrities, with details to be announced, who will help to drive regional press coverage. A spokesperson for Blackwell said: “Blackwell has been inspired to run a charity campaign this Christmas to support local charities—the staff in each area will choose which charities will benefit. This is part of a wider drive for Blackwell to be seen as local and community driven rather than as part of a big chain.”

Meanwhile, Waterstone’s Gower Street in central London is also holding a major charity campaign, in support of World AIDS Day on 1st December. In the week beginning 28th November the store will hold events designed to give advice and raise awareness about HIV. Waterstone’s managing director James Daunt will formally launch the week of events and guests such as AIDS campaigner Lord Fowler and shadow secretary for health Andy Burnham will attend. Bookseller Andrew Jukes, who organised the campaign, has ordered in 40 new titles to sell on the subject of AIDS and sourced 200 second-hand and out-of-print books to sell over the week.

A panel from the UK International Names Project AIDS Quilt, currently in the care of George House Trust, will be displayed in the Gower Street branch’s window. It is a memorial project started in San Francisco in 1985 and has spread worldwide, as friends and loved ones have created panels and testimonials to remember those they have lost.

A Waterstone’s spokesperson said: “We are thrilled that Waterstone’s Gower Street is able to support World AIDS Day in such a significant fashion. All praise to Andrew Jukes at Gower Street who has created an awareness- raising week of activities that inspires and educates.”