Harrogate shop owner uses prize money to help schools

Georgia Duffy of Imagined Things Bookshop with children taking part in her reading books scheme at New Park Primary Academy in Harrogate. (Picture by Gerard Binks)
Georgia Duffy of Imagined Things Bookshop with children taking part in her reading books scheme at New Park Primary Academy in Harrogate. (Picture by Gerard Binks)

The award-winning owner of a small Harrogate independent book shop has used her precious prize money to support children’s reading in local primary schools.

Georgia Duffy of Imagined Things said her new initiative to inspire a love of reading - and provide more books - had been made possible by the Pan Macmillan Indie Innovation Award for The North.

Based in Westminster Arcade on Parliament Street, she said: “We are truly passionate about getting books into the hands of young readers and are delighted to be able to get more books into schools.
“The £1,750 award has made it possible for us to set up the Little Dragons’ Reading Adventure and most importantly to put Dragon Libraries into schools, with the vast majority of the money being spent on over 200 books for local schools.”

The first school to take part in the exciting new venture is New Park Primary Academy of Skipton Road.

Its headteacher Robert Mold said the bookshop’s new scheme was something which could be of significant benefit to schools and pupils.
Mr Mold said: “We’ve worked closely with Georgia since Imagined Things first opened and she has been incredibly supportive of our school, hosting visits at the shop and sharing her love of books in assemblies.
“Reading is at the very heart of the curriculum at New Park and the children spend 6-10 weeks studying novels in depth.
“The Dragon project enables us to provide high-quality reading books for all our children, inspiring the next generation of authors.”

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There are two sides to the Little Dragons’ Project - both of which mean more books for local primary schools.
One side is the Dragon Libraries with the aim of bringing more than 250 books split between four Harrogate Primary Schools.

The other side is the Little Dragons’ Reading Adventure in the Imagined Things shop which offers the chance for parents and pupils at Harrogate primary schools to take part and help to raise money for their school.
The idea involves parents and children picking up a free booklet in the shop and bringing it each time they buy a children’s book to be stamped.
Once they have collected ten stamps the booklet is complete and the shop then gives 10% to the school for books.
The booklet includes activities as well as more information about why the project is based around dragons and introduces the shop’s dragon mascot Fable.
Children will get an exclusive badge and a certificate for every completed adventure.
With enough booklets completed this could add up to an extra 1,500 books or more for schools.

Imagined Things gained a national reputation in 2018 when a tweet about a quiet day at the shop, when it took just £12.34, went viral.
Georgia Duffy said: “The shop was named to encapsulate the power of imagined things. Imagined things can make us see the real world differently. For me, dragons embody the very nature of Imagined Things.”

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