The Bookmark Project, a fantastic charity fundraiser in aid of Katiyo Primary School in Zimbabwe, is back for another year, an event that always attracts a huge amount of support. Ilkley-based 1st Burley-in-Wharfedale Brownies are seeking donations of unique bookmarks from authors, illustrators, actors, musicians, sports people and other celebrities, which will then be auctioned online in May.
The Bookmark Project, which has been running since 2017, has attracted contributions from the likes of actor Sir Brian May and Sir Patrick Stewart and many more, and is co-ordinated by 1st Burley-in-Wharfedale Brownies, an enthusiastic group who have had links with with Katiyo Primary School in rural Zimbabwe for several years.
The Bookmark Project is now one of their most important fundraising initiatives. Started by their leader in 2017, the first Bookmark Project auction raised £974 for the school, supported by Julia Donaldson, Nick Sharratt, Caroline Quentin, The Brownlee brothers, the cast of The Girls musical, M.G. Leonard, Mairi Hedderwick, Chris Naylor-Ballesteros and many more, all of whom designed bookmarks.
While the project had a difficult couple of years during the pandemic, the project raised a record-breaking £14,000-plus in 2022, and they’re hoping to top that in 2023.
Artists who contributed some 350 unique bookmarks last year included Phoebe Carter, Lucy Farfot, ItsNotAboutWork, Sarah Judd, Penny Neville-Lee, Martha Lightfoot, Sarah Lovell, Eve McDonnell, Dick Melling, and many, many others.
1st Burley Brownies are raising money to improve the education and therefore life chances of the children who attend Katiyo Primary School in Zimbabwe through funding a variety of projects. Recently, they have paid for new toilet blocks to be built, helped with providing clean water on site and they are in the process of starting to build a brand new nursery classroom block which will provide classrooms for the two youngest classes at the school who currently have lessons outside or in the local church.
If you’re an author, illustrator, actor, sports person or other celebrity, or maybe you are just a book lover, they’d like you to design a bookmark which can then be auctioned to raise money for the school. Your design can be as simple or complicated as you like, it can be any shape you like.
“We would just like it to represent you and your love of books and learning,” say the team, “or maybe the characters you write about if you are an author or a favourite quote from your favourite book.
“If you could sign your bookmark somewhere that would be amazing!
You can then send your finished bookmark to: The Bookmark Project, 1st Burley-in-Wharfedale Brownies, The Scout and Guide HQ, Peel Place, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ilkley LS29 7JS.
The auction is always held in May. In 2023 the auction starts on Monday 8th May at 6.00pm and finishes on Monday 22nd May at 7.00pm, so get your donation in well before those dates!
Let the team know if you need a blank bookmark to work on via 1stburleybrownies at gmail.com (replace the at with a @)
• A guide to The Bookmark Project is here on the 1st Burley-in-Wharfedale Brownies web site and a FAQ is here on the same site