Beachy Books Awarded Community Book Publishing Grant

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Beachy Books has been awarded grant funding by Isle of Wight Council’s Adult and Community Learning to become a provider of adult learning by working in collaboration with groups on the Island to create and publish community books.

The community publishing projects are open to all adults on the Isle of Wight who are aged 19+. I have funding for 3 book projects, and in each, up to 10 adults per group. The group could be an existing community group, charity or organisation. Or the people involved could be individuals who have come together to publish a book as a group on a unified theme.

The published books could help celebrate the work of a particular group, promote an organisation or the people they help. The books could be traditionally printed or in eBook form.

The grant was awarded following a successful bid in response to the Isle of Wight Council inviting local groups and organisations to submit bids to become providers of adult learning opportunities in the community.

I intend to use freely available software and resources to make community publishing accessible to the smallest of groups. It’s also flexible enough that I can work with a community group in their own setting or it can be convened at a central venue. For example, if participants have transport or accessibility problems or if it’s important to capture content for a book on site.

The funding follows my successful school book publishing project this year working with Year 5 children at Newchurch Primary School, where I helped the children to create and publish a full colour book to give to new Reception children joining their school this year. I wanted to take my idea of group publishing out to the community and work with adults, which is what this grant will help me do.

I hope the community book publishing projects will help foster community cohesion, collaborative working and allow individuals to learn new skills while working in a team with a unified aim. There’s so much involved in making a book, such as team working, ICT skills, design, writing and literacy. My hope is that people of all ages and backgrounds involved in the community publishing projects will learn new skills that could lead them to vocational training, further adult learning or increase their chances of future employment.

There’s also an entrepreneurial aspect where people involved will be able to take on the challenge of raising funds to pay for print runs of the books they create, so they can then go on to sell books to raise funds and promote their own causes.

The community grant covers the majority of the costs of the book publishing projects but learners or groups who can afford to contribute financially will be asked to do so.

If any community groups, or individuals with a unified aim, are interested in creating community books then they are invited to contact me, Philip Bell, at Beachy Books via our Contact Page.