How book exchanges in Co-op stores in the Crewe area are raising funds and encouraging people to read up on how to tackle mental health problems

Co-op customers in the Crewe area are raising funds for the national mental health charity Mind by reading.

They can browse the popular book exchanges set up in the Co-op stores at Shavington and Wistaston. All donations go towards helping the vital work that Mind does tackling the stigma surrounding mental health issues and providing support to those affected.

Book-loving Member Pioneer Ben Wye first came up with the idea of placing a bookshelf at the Co-op store in Rope Lane in Shavington.

He appealed for help setting up a second exchange at the Co-op branch at Jackson’s Corner in Crewe Road in Wistaston. A recent donation of a shelf meant he could get it started, but he says he is looking for another shelf to accommodate more books.

“It’s been a real success in Shavington. When the mobile library closed down in the village there was a real need for something like this,” said Ben.

“It operates on the basis of a book exchange. The idea is for people to donate some money to Mind when they take a book.

“They can put a pound in the collection box, but it is even better if they go to the till and have it taken off their card as not many people carry around a lot of coins with them these days.”

The book exchange at the Shavington Co-op branch has been a huge success.

Ben says all book donations are welcome too, with novels and story books preferred while reference books and educational texts are to be avoided.

Ben added: “Mind is a great cause and one of Co-op’s national charity partners. The book exchange is a great way to publicise its work. I always put Mind leaflets on the bookshelves so there’s a reminder there of what help is available.”

Staff at Co-op stores in the Crewe area have also spent time raising money for Mind in different ways. At Shavington they raised over £2,000 by completing a 12 mile circuit around Ambleside, while boosting their own mental wellbeing with the fresh air and exercise.

*If you have a book shelf that Ben Wye can use to expand the space at his book exchanges then email him at [email protected]

One in four of us experience a mental health problem in any one year. That’s someone in every family, workplace and friendship circle.

In the UK it's around 14 million people. That's why Co-op is working in partnership with Mind, the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Inspire to bring communities together to support mental wellbeing.

To help you look after and find support for your and others' mental wellbeing, Co-op created Be Kind To Your Mind.

It includes activities from Co-op and its partners as well as general tips and how to seek support from Co-op’s charity partners, Mind, SAMH and Inspire.

If you need support with your mental health or know someone that does, the following can help:
• contact Mind for support in England and Wales on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday), text: 86463 or email [email protected]
• text SHOUT for support anywhere on 85258

Co-op membership helps support Co-op’s national charity partners and Local Community Fund causes.

When you buy selected Co-op branded products and services, 2p for every pound spent goes to you and Co-op gives the same to local communities. See here.

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