Wishing tree returns for Christmas 2017
Christmas shoppers in Dundee will be able to help provide a gift of reading for young carers in the city with the return for the fourth year of the `Wishing Tree’.
‘Waterstones Wishing Tree’, established by Literary Dundee along with the retailer, Leisure and Culture Dundee and Dundee City Council, is a special way for shoppers to gift a book to a young person in Dundee who has a caring role and/or is affected emotionally by a family member’s long-term illness, disability, mental health or addiction problems.
The project started in Christmas 2014 and in 2016 the organisers were overwhelmed and delighted by the number of books received.
“A book is a gift you can open again and again, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of Dundee shoppers and the volume of books they’ve gifted Dundee Young Carers since 2014” said Moira Foster, Education Support Officer with Dundee City Council. “We’re delighted to be unveiling The Wishing Tree for the fourth year in a row to encourage shoppers to give the gift of reading to Dundee Young Carers this Christmas.”
Gift tags on the tree will correspond to the interests of a young carer and all shoppers need to do is select a tag, buy a book and leave it with the staff at Waterstones to be wrapped and delivered for Christmas. The tree will be in situ from 15th November and staff will be on hand to guide purchases until Sunday 17th December.
This year’s tree will be unveiled at Waterstones in Commercial Street at 5pm on Wednesday 15th November by Broughty Ferry-based children’s writer Michelle Sloan. Michelle’s book, The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee, illustrated by Kasia Matyjaszek, is shortlisted for The Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2018. The store and café will stay open for late night shopping and festive nibbles will be served.
Sarah Clark, Team Manager (Carers Support Services) at Dundee Carers Centre said “A lot of the young people don’t have many books so this is a welcome addition. The Wishing Tree helps us to encourage reading across the whole family, and we are really grateful for their support.”
Elaine Hallyburton, Senior Library and Information Officer for Dundee Libraries Service, said, “On top of school work Young Carers have the added responsibility of looking after someone in their family. Reading for enjoyment, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, offers a wee bit respite in a busy life. The gift of a book is a lovely way to say thank you for all their hard work.”
Everyone is welcome to drop by on Wednesday 15th at 5pm to hear more and learn how they can support the Waterstones Wishing Tree project as well as the year-round work of Dundee Young Carers.
The Young Carers Project supports those aged between 8 and 15 who provide a caring role for a family member. The service currently supports around 140 young carers. The Upbeet Project supports those aged 16 who also provide care for a family member or friend, and currently supports around 50 young adult carers. In addition many young adult carers are looking after their own children.
The care role can be provided for a variety of reasons including ill health, disability, mental health or through drug and alcohol use. Support is offered through one-to-ones and group work and aims to enable young carers and young adult carers to be able to cope with their caring responsibilities by providing emotional support, access to other supports including signposting, welfare rights and importantly peer support.