Refuge for Books
899. Lucy Beresford
Lucy Beresford, from London, set up ‘Refuge for Books’ an initiative donating books to ‘Refuge’ shelters, helping to build libraries for women and children who are fleeing domestic abuse.
Since its inception in 2015, Lucy has collected almost 3,000 books from across the UK, which she has donated to five different ‘Refuge’ shelters in the South East of England. The books help the shelters to feel more like home, as well as providing an escape for the women and children. In addition to the general public donating books, as an author herself, Lucy has been able to encourage publishers, book reviewers and literary agencies to donate.
Lucy received her award in a presentation from her MP Mark Field (pictured below).
In a personal letter to Lucy, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Refuge for Books’ you are helping to bring comfort to women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Your fantastic initiative helps create a sense of home for those living in the shelters you support. I wish you and the project every success as you continue to inspire both publishing houses and members of the public to donate books to the cause.”
Mark Field, MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, said:
“It is with great pleasure that I would like to extend my congratulations to my friendly, local constituent Lucy on winning the Points of Light award for her fantastic work in establishing ‘Refuge for Books’. As a voracious reader myself, I know all too well the joy that a good book can provide, and I would like to pay tribute to Lucy for providing the means to vulnerable women and children to escape into the depths of a stimulating novel and let their imaginations transport them to all kinds of exotic and wondrous places. Her industry and passion for this initiative is a shining example of what the Points of Light awards are all about.”
Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of ‘Refuge’, national domestic violence charity, says:
“Lucy has delivered an outstanding 3,000 books to our refuges in the three years she has been running this project. The books Lucy donates to ‘Refuge’ make a real difference to the women and children with whom we work – many flee to our shelters, escaping violence at no notice, with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and perhaps a child’s favourite toy. From adding homely touches in the refuges, to providing escape and knowledge or reducing stress, the benefits of reading are priceless. This award is well-deserved recognition for all Lucy does for ‘Refuge’ and the women we support.”
“I’m very honoured to be recognised with this Points of Lights award for my ‘Refuge for Books’ initiative. Yet it’s also immensely humbling – I continue to believe that the true Points of Light are those who run the shelters for ‘Refuge’ nationally, and also all the people up who took the time to donate books to me for these libraries. I think we all in some way want to help others, and I thank ‘Refuge’ for inspiring me to be of service.”
Lucy gives her response to receiving a Points of Light award: