A RHYL woman is hoping to give the gift of books to children of families who need to use foodbanks this winter.

Vicki Salusbury, 36, is raising donations to buy children’s art books that will be donated to the King’s Storehouse Foodbank on Well Street.

Her fundraising effort comes after the foodbank said the number of essential weekly food parcels it gives to families in need has risen by a third over the last six months due to the economic shock caused by the coronavirus lockdowns.

“I want to ensure that every child that uses the foodbank gets to take a gift home with them,” said Mrs Salusbury, who is an independent organiser for children’s publisher Usborne.

“I love books and believe every child should have access to them.”

The books include Lift The Flap no-mess colouring book, which teaches about germs, and the Creative Writing Book, both of which are published by Usborne.

Book prices range from £2.50 to £12.99 but Mrs Salusbury said any sum will be gratefully accepted, as well as donations of good-as-new second-hand books and other gifts such as chocolate.

Mrs Salusbury previously worked for the British Heart Foundation in Rhyl, where she handled books that were donated to the charity and carried out volunteer work in her spare time. She said she was inspired to help the King’s Storehouse after a family member unexpectedly had to use a foodbank.

“The work the foodbank is doing is absolutely phenomenal and I know people who do such great work there,” she said.

“I was surprised that reliance on foodbanks can still happen in Britain today and it can happen to anybody at any point in life.

“There is a lot going on at the moment that can make a person need help, especially during the pandemic. People have been furloughed but the bills have not come down. The number of food parcels the foodbank gives out each week has risen which shows there has been a real need.

“It has been promising that awareness of the issue has been raised recently and there is more conversation around it.

“Hopefully these donations will help and mean that every family that needs to use the foodbank can leave with a gift.”

Foodbank works on a referral basis

Pastor Mark Jones, of Wellspring Church, where the foodbank is based, said: “It is very generous and kind of Vicki to want to raise the money for these books. Families going to be struggling this year and there are children who won’t have much for Christmas.

“Reading is very important for children’s development and receiving a nice book will hopefully encourage them to do that, as well as have something they can treasure.”

To donate to purchasing a book for the foodbank, contact Mrs Salusbury by emailing vickisalusbury@yahoo.co.uk