Book Relief UK

'Let Us All Read'

Book Relief UK

If education is the road out of poverty,
books are the wheels needed for the journey

Book Relief UK

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket

Why literacy?

In a speech once given on International Literacy Day, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, succinctly summed up it up as:


'Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.'


If you would like to help our small literacy charity with any donation we have set up a secure Pay Pal account from the 'Donate' button. Thank you so much.


Alternatively you may wish to support our current literacy project (Helping with literacy in UK prisons) and you can do so via this link
Kofi Annan


About Us

Starting Out

BookRelief UK is a literacy charity that started life as a community group in Bideford, North Devon in October 2006 and became a registered charity in March 2010.

As a literacy charity, BookRelief UK has coordinated several programmes in North Devon beginning with a North Devon Schools Reading Programme in 2007 delivered in association with the National Literacy Trust’s Reading is Fundamental programme.

In 2011 BookRelief UK introduced and coordinated a one-to-one mentoring programme in the Bideford area for school children who are slow or reluctant readers – in association with Reading Matters of Bradford and the Bideford Learning Community. This programme was extended to 2013/4 but from 2014/5 onwards is being run independently of BRUK by Bideford Learning Community.

And Further . . .

BookRelief UK also have programmes for collecting and storing used books – which are either sold to raise funds for local literacy programmes or sent abroad through our Books Overseas Programme – which are currently run in conjunction with Book-Cycle of Exeter.

Our People

We are a volunteer-led organisation. We have no paid employees although we do occasionally sub-contract a sessional worker to coordinate a particular programme if our funding specifically allows for it - as is the case with our Schools Reading Programme run in association with Reading Matters.

Our Patron is: Michael Morpurgo

Our Trustees are:

Rev John Carvosso - Chair

Gillian Stevens - Secretary

Steve Dobson - Bookshop Manager

Jeremy Bell

Mary Beer

In 2012 BookRelief UK began an association with Read Easy UK to introduce their very successful volunteer-led adult literacy programme - which delivers one-to-one literacy coaching to adults with reading difficulties - to the North Devon area. This began with a pilot programme in Barnstaple. As of November 2013 we are pleased to report that our Read Easy Barnstaple group has trained over 40 volunteer reading coaches and has over 40 new readers/learners undergoing one-to-one basic literacy tuition. During 2015 Read Easy Barnstaple became 'independent' of BRUK and is run by it's own committee.

In February 2013 we established Read Easy Bideford & Great Torrington. During 2015 Read Easy Bideford & Great Torrington became 'independent' of BRUK and is run by it's own committee but sadly it is having to stop, though we hope they may restart sometime. Read Easy Ilfracombe has now also started and is run independently of BRUK by its own committee.

Barry Evetts receiving a cheque from Jeremy Bell
Barry Evetts - Our Founder>


Project Pearls

The children's books we donated last February to one of our current four projects have arrived and the children are using them in their school in the Phillipines. Daren Stone, the UK rep for the project, has sent us these photos of the children with some of the books. Daren has recently been to collect 5 boxes of books and is due to come again in mid July. If any of our supporters have books they would like to donate or money for the school library please do contact our project coordinators(John Carvosso or Dawn Lincoln)



At Book Relief UK we work with, partner with and support a number of other literacy charities who have similar aims to ours. You can find out more about them by clicking on to the various links right:


Read Easy Logo

With one adult in six in the UK today struggling with reading, Read Easy provides those adults who want to learn to read with a volunteer to help them, a special book to teach them and a comfortable place to meet. You can find out more from their website (click link below) or by downloading some of the information on our downloads page. Book Relief UK have established, and continue to support, Read Easy groups in Barnstaple, Bideford & Great Torrington, North Devon and are working to establish a Read Easy group in Ilfracombe.

GlobalGiving vetted Organization 2015

Using this badge, we can share with the world that Book Relief UK has been vetted by GlobalGiving and was actively engaged on our site in 2015!

Reading Matters Logo

Reading Matters: Bradford-based Reading Matters is another literacy charity that specialises in one-to-one support to motivate young people to reach their full potential by becoming confident and enthusiastic readers. BookReliefUK use the services of Reading Matters to deliver training for our 'Literacy and Reading for Young People in Local Schools' project.



Book-cycle Logo

Book-Cycle: a volunteer-run charity which seeks to empower communities in the UK and overseas by promoting free books and educational resources. Under our Books Overseas Programme, Book Relief UK partners with Book-Cycle to sent educational and reading books to schools, colleges and libraries in developing countries.



Reading Matters Logo

The National Literacy Trust campaigns to improve public understanding of literacy and provides excellent information and resources on its website.

Book Aid

Book Aid - John (Chair of Trustees) has been involved with them since before he retired and Book Relief now supports them by sending our surplus religious (mainly Christian) books. They collect the around every 3 months from John’s ship container storage in Torrington.

Project Pearls

Our Mission is to help the poorest of the poor children in the Philippines have a better life through education, empowerment, nutrition, healthcare services.
Giving Peace, Education, Aspiration, Respect, Love, and Smiles or PEARLS is our foremost advocacy.

Our Shop

Shop Opening Times:

Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Address: 48 Mill Street, Bideford, Devon EX39 2JR

Shop Window

Shop Window


Barry's Legacy to Book Relief UK


One man’s love of books has left a lasting legacy in North Devon. Barry Evetts, who died of cancer aged 70 in December, was a keen reader, writer and advocate of books, and set up the charity BookRelief UK in 2006. The charity is working to promote and advance literacy standards both locally and in developing countries.


In a final gift to the charity he loved, friends and family rallied around at Barry’s funeral to raise more than £200 for the cause.


Brenda, his wife of 44 years, said: “Like me, Barry was an only child, and when he was growing up, books were his friends.


“He was very dedicated and very much believed the idea that reading was the key to life.”


With its new shop in Bideford enjoying a bustling trade, BookRelief UK is hoping to start work on a new project working on literature in prisons.


Chairman John Carvosso said: “It was Barry’s idea before he died and now we want to carry it on and make sure it happens.”


As well as his charity work, Barry wrote his own novel and was also involved in the setting up of Appledore Book Festival and the campaign to save Northam library from closure.


Before settling in Northam, the father-of-two enjoyed a long career as a ship broker, living in his homeland New Zealand as well as Australia, Hong Kong and Panama.





John Carvosso and Brenda Evetts
John Carvosso and Brenda Evetts



   Address: 48 Mill Street, Bideford, Devon EX39 2JR
   Phone: 01237_470600







Registered Charity No: (England & Wales) 1134724