‘Wishing Tree’ returns for carers’ Christmas

Christmas shoppers in Dundee will be able to help provide a gift of reading for young carers in the city with the return of the `Waterstones Wishing Tree’.

The charitable fauna, a collaboration between Waterstones, the University’s `Literary Dundee’, Leisure and Culture Dundee and the City Council, is a special way for shoppers to gift a book to a young person in the city who has a caring role and/or is affected emotionally by a family member’s long-term illness, disability, mental health or addiction problems.

This year’s tree will be unveiled at Waterstones in Commercial Street at 5.30pm on Thursday 24th November by award-winning children’s author Pamela Butchart as part of the city’s celebrations for Book Week Scotland. Only last week, Pamela received an honorary degree from the University.

Peggy Hughes, Director of Literary Dundee, said, “A book is a gift you can open again and again, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of Dundee shoppers and the volume of books they’ve gifted Dundee Young Carers since 2014.

“We’re delighted to be unveiling The Wishing Tree for the third year in a row to encourage shoppers to give the gift of reading to Dundee Young Carers this Christmas.”

Gift tags on the tree will correspond to the interests of a young carer and all shoppers need to do is select a tag, buy a book and leave it with the staff at Waterstones to be wrapped and delivered for Christmas. The tree will be in situ and staff will be on hand to guide purchases until Sunday 18th December.

Sarah Clark, Team Manager (Carers Support Services) at Dundee Carers Centre said, “A lot of the young people don’t have many books so this is a welcome initiative.  The Wishing Tree helps us to encourage reading across the whole family, and we are really grateful for their support.”

Moira Foster, Education Support Officer with Dundee City Council, said, “On top of school work Young Carers have the added responsibility of looking after someone in their family.  Reading for enjoyment, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, offers a wee bit respite in a busy life.  The gift of a book is a lovely way to say thank you for all their hard work.”

Members of the public are welcome to drop by on Thursday 24th at 5.30pm to hear more and learn how they can support the Waterstones Wishing Tree project as well as the year-round work of Dundee Young Carers.

The Young Carers Project supports those aged between 8 and 15 who provide a caring role for a family member. The service currently supports around 140 young carers.

The care role can be provided for a variety of reasons including ill health, disability, mental health or through drug and alcohol use. Support is offered through one-to-ones and group work and aims to enable young carers and young adult carers to be able to cope with their caring responsibilities by providing emotional support, access to other supports including signposting, welfare rights and importantly peer support.

Literary Dundee is a University of Dundee-led initiative to promote interest in literature and its team work closely with members of the local community to enhance rates of reading and encourage more people young and old to discover or rediscover the joy of books.


For media enquiries contact:
Dominic Glasgow
Media Relations Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 385131
Email: d.w.glasgow@dundee.ac.uk