Our story

Once upon a time in Lewisham...

On a freezing cold Sunday morning in the depths of winter Rob Sargent, Chairman of the Acorn Group, stood on the side-lines of a muddy football pitch in Lewisham cheering on his youngest son. Whilst their toes slowly numbed, fellow supporters chatted between themselves, hopping up and down to keep circulation going.

Rob got talking to Jo Chandler, Chair of Governors at St. Saviour’s, a primary school in Lewisham, and their conversation turned to schooling. Jo mentioned how she had recently set up a Governor’s fundraising committee with the remit to raise much-needed funds to redevelop under-utilised spaces within the school; areas that would make a real difference to the children’s learning and school life but due to underfunding are not a possibility within their current budget.

Rob listened with interest to hear how the school had met the education challenge head on and was currently one of the top-performing primary schools in Lewisham. At their last Ofsted inspection, the recommendations for next steps were focused on developing the Year 6 reading and monitoring the reading of all children throughout the school.

Jo explained how hard this was, as the school currently has no real library facility and limited space to spend time in small focus groups. When Rob asked to visit the school, Jo was a little taken aback but was delighted to arrange to show him around the premises. During his visit, Rob was incredibly impressed with how every child he interacted with was polite, happy, confident, and genuinely looked like they were having fun.

Need our help?

Are you directly involved with a school or local organisation that could benefit from a supply of children’s books?

contact us today

This is where the story really begins...

Still contemplating the battle the Headteacher and governors face daily, Rob arranged for The Acorn Group to deliver footballs, hula-hoops and skipping ropes to the school as a surprise for the children and staff alike. A little embarrassed, but genuinely moved by their gratitude, it spurred Rob and the Acorn team on to do more to help this resilient primary school.  

We decided to provide the school with a brand new library facility!

With additional intervention space, to enable the teachers to take on Ofsted’s prescribed ‘next steps’. A large uninspiring room in the upper floor of the school was converted into a bright and vibrant space to spark the pupils passion for reading. In order to fill the library, a campaign was launched calling for donations of pre-loved children’s books and over 2,500 books were dropped into Acorn’s local estate agency offices.

You can read the full story of St Saviour’s library refurbishment here, but the rest as they say is history.

Our story continues...

Following the huge success of this project, the initiative evolved into the “Acorn Book Club” and was officially registered as a charity in 2019. We have since donated thousands more books and work closely with lots of local schools to ensure no child is ever denied access to quality books between the ages of 3-11.

Find out how you can help here.

Need our help?

If you’re directly involved with a school or local organisation that works with children, and could benefit from a supply of used and new children’s school books.

Fill out a form here