Lockdown library: Meet the woman closing the literacy gap from her garden

  • Video report by Sarah Rogers

A woman in Manchester is helping to close the literacy gap by starting a library at the bottom of her garden. 

Helen Beesley from Burnage began the project with just one box of books, stashed in an old cupboard in the bottom of her garden.

Anyone was welcome to help themselves and read for free.

The books are quarantined before they can be taken out by members of the public.

The idea came from the Little Free Library movement - which started in the USA but has now spread across the globe.

The aim is to improve literacy and share a love of reading.

Neighbours say it's a way of feeling connected during lockdown.

2020 saw access to reading become even more difficult for some families, with library being closed for much of the year, and some school classes and year groups being told to isolate at home.

400 different books have now been donated - from classics to children's novels.

The Literary Trust say access to books are now more important than ever.

Jason Vit said "Across Greater Manchester there's probably about 300,000 adults with literary skills below that of an 11 year old. 20,000 children don't have a single book at home".