Lambeth Crowdfunder helps find a home for “One per cent”shop

17 January 2019

Written by: Lambeth Council

Arts, culture and events - Children and young people - Focus on Brixton

Latest community project to earn match funding from Crowdfund Lambeth is ‘read the one per cent’ – a shop specialising in books about black and minority ethnic heroes and heroines.

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Lambeth Crowdfunder helps find a home for “One per cent”shop

Lambeth Council has pledged to the successful crowdfunding project by publishers Knights Of to start up a permanent bookshop in Brixton with books that reflect the diversity of the community. .

The one per cent

The name and idea come from a report by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) finding just 1% of 9,000 children’s books published in 2017 with a Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) leading character. Only 4% included BAME characters at all. But 32.1% of schoolchildren in England are of minority ethnic origin according to recent Department for Education figures.

Pop-up shop

Publishers Aimée Felone and David Stevens responded to that mismatch by opening a pop-up children’s bookshop in Brixton stocking only those 1% of books. They sold every book they had in two days, so a full-time bookshop in Lambeth is a natural next step.

Two good reasons

“Opening the Read One per cent bookshop in Brixton was because the response from local customers was overwhelming” says David Stevens. “They were telling us ‘we need this, we want to see this inclusive culture here’. And other traders in Brixton Village were saying ‘, we want this more than anywhere else in London does!. The other good reason is that half the team is from Lambeth – they dragged me here!”

Word from the Cabinet

Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture Sonia Winifred said “We are delighted to support this project that is loved by the community, has already had a positive cultural impact on Lambeth, and we hope will act as a positive model of equality and diversity for authors, publishers and bookshops.

Targets met

The Crowdfunding campaign was for £30,000 to pay a professional bookseller to run the shop. Penguin Books pledged half allowing Aimee and David to set a stretch target including Lambeth’s contribution.

For more information

  • For more about Read the One per cent and to contribute to their crowdfunder, see their information pages
  • Lambeth Council, Crowdfunder, groups and organisations across the borough want to work together to help turn their ideas into reality. See the Crowdfund Lambeth information pages for more information about Crowdfund Lambeth and whether your project can get support,
  • . Find your ward and check the funding criteria to see if your project could be eligible for up to 25% of your funding target up to a maximum of £1,250.
  • If you have already started a project, find out how to apply for this fund.