Lewisham food bank receives £10,000 from sales of spoof book

Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside book Pic: Tripe Marketing Board

The mass purchasing on Amazon of a book by a spoof publisher has raised over £10,000 for a food bank in Lewisham.

‘Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside’ is a wry take on Yorkshire’s history. The book is published by the spoof ‘Tripe Marketing Board ‘; which according to its website is ‘dedicated to educating the British public about eating tripe as part of a healthy, balanced diet’ and also publishes a number of books.

It was slashed in price on Amazon from £10 to 99p during November as part of a Black Friday deal, but the publishers received full royalties for the book’s sales.

The Tripe Marketing Board gave £2 of every purchase to We Care, a food bank based at Kath’s Place community hub in Deptford which feeds over 3,000 people in London.

A total of 4,982 copies were bought which, combined with some small sales of other books by the publishers, raised a total of £10,128 for the food bank.

Speaking about why the Tripe Marketing Board chose We Care, its chairman ‘Sir Norman Wrassle’ said: “Obviously, they’re not local to us but the more I looked into what they are doing, the more I was convinced we should hold out a helping hand.

“It’s a great, community-based charity and we could be certain that any money raised would be put to use for the people who needed it … a lot of people assume that it’s the people of the north who are struggling most at the moment, but in my view austerity is affecting people everywhere.”

The food bank was facing closure if had not raised £25,000 by Christmas and a crowd funder was set up to raise the funds. It received support from Gordon Brown in September.

Ray Barron-Woolford, founder of We Care said:  “We’ve raised more money at 99 pence a go than we did with Gordon Brown asking the rich to donate £150 council tax rebate”.

He added that the volume of people ordering the book was so high that “Amazon put a block on it [meaning] people could only buy three copies”. “People then decided to get family and friends to [buy] it. But then we worked out that if you have a business account, there’s no restriction on the order, so then people started to buy it in the hundreds.”

Ray Barron-Woolford (centre) with volunteers Neisha Wong (left) Marie and Natalee Jones Pic: Ray Barron-Woolford

Because of the sheer volume of books, Woolford said a large amount were donated to food banks and charity shops with retail outlets across Britain so that they could sell them on. The books went to charity shops in towns and cities such as Bedford, Keighley, Hull, Birkenhead and Prenton.

“It’s really quite bizarre that all this has happened because we were only £3,500 off raising the £25,000 which was the original objective … for our rent and electricity bill, but of course that doesn’t cover food. So, the money that the Tripe Board are giving us will actually pay for our food next year”, said Woolford.

‘Sir Norman’ added: “It’s been out for five years, but I’m delighted people are discovering it just in time for Christmas. Times are hard for a lot of people just now, so we’re pleased Amazon’s made it available for 99p and we’re also making sure people can pick up a copy in charity shops or food banks in case they don’t have access to Amazon. I call this book ‘a Little Miracle’, for the good it’s now doing.”

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