About Books Abroad in Aberdeenshire




Books Abroad aims to rescue and re-use good quality used books that may otherwise be disposed of as waste.

The books are given a second life by sending them to schools and other educational establishments in developing countries.

In addition to general recycling of office waste, badly damaged books that are unfit for this purpose, and other books considered unsuitable for sending overseas, are industrially shredded, which is then used locally for animal bedding or composting.


Books Abroad is a charity which has grown from humble beginnings to a large organisation. It is a demand driven charity in that it sends only the types of material specifically requested by the destination schools. The service is free of all charges to the recipients as we meet all costs of shipping and transportation.

We aim to supply books to as many qualifying establishments as possible within our three year cycle.

Health and safety conscious for our volunteers.

We aim to give back to the local community by providing inspiration and avenues for learning to local schools, as well as creating a community in itself at our warehouse and events, appealing to individuals looking to meet new people and be active on the non-profit scene


This charity aims for transparency in all areas and considers health and safety a priority.

Due to the nature of the operations undertaken, risk assessments are carried out regularly, relevant safeguards are put in place and mandatory training is given, in addition to holding adequate business insurance cover.

All equipment (i.e. electrics, forklift, fire prevention etc.) is regularly maintained and tested by appropriate examiners.


We have helped over 2,100 schools, libraries and educational establishments in our 33 years in operation. We have sent out almost 3,000,000 million books in all this time.

Our Schools Liaison work continues in local schools, offering assemblies and talks on the Developing World to school children, as a result of which we receive donations of books and money.

Achievements have included a new approach to distribution as trialed in the Zanzibar project. A constant search to reduce despatch costs and to ensure books reach their intended destinations saw a container load of books sent to Zanzibar in 2011, distributing 53,500 books with local help and with 80 schools being able to receive books as per their requirement.



Some of our volunteers have been involved with Books Abroad for over 20 years and Katy Scott is a founder member.


  1. Why did you start coming to BA?
    As I live out in the country it was a way of meeting other people and it is a worthwhile charity.
  2. Which is you favourite country?
    No favourite country
  3. What's your favourite book?
    So many – haven’t decided on one yet.
  4. What do you enjoy about coming to BA?
    I enjoy meeting other people and the volunteers are very nice, packing up the parcels is very useful, it’s nice to get away from home regularly and it’s a worthwhile job.
  5. What is/ was your profession?
    Social worker
  6. What has been your most interesting find?
    Finding a humorous book written by Tom Sharpe and removing it from a parcel and swopping it for another book.


  1. Why did you start coming to BA?
    Was invited by Keith Brunskill to be a member of the founding party.
  2. Which is you favourite country?
    No particular favourite country but do enjoy selecting books for the schools that cater for orphan children, I like to include books giving advice on living, and I enjoy sorting books for girls in the fiction range.
  3. What's your favourite book?
    Couldn’t bring favourite book to mind but would have a job just picking one – realized she love Dickens and William Trevor.
  4. What do you enjoy about coming to BA?
    I come to do my job as a selector but really enjoy the company of the other volunteers.
  5. What is/ was your profession?
    I was a teacher.
  6. What has been your most interesting find?
    Finding a dictionary /book in a language that suits the country/ school I’m selecting for so the children may see their language and English side by side and learn.


Vinay Ruparelia - Chairman
Raymond Edwards - Treasurer
Hazel Stephen - Adminstrator
Hilary Musgrave - Minute Secretary & Volunteer
Lorna Bell - Volunteer and Event Organiser
Irene Finlayson - Volunteer & Event Organiser
Alan Sinclair - Retired doctor from Huntly
Sandra Brown - Head teacher.


MAIRI HEDDERWICK - Famous for her 'Katie Morag' stories, author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick appeared at a very successful “Meet the Author” event in Aberdeen late 2014. This proved to be a highly succesful fundraising event and we are looking into repeating this again. Mairi's Katie Morag stories are currently being televised on Sunday afternoons if you would like to see them!

JONATHEN MERES - a well known children's author, Jonathen has kindly agreed to help us with fundraising during 2015.

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Books Abroad
Unit 1, Richmond Avenue Industrial Estate,
Scotland  AB54 4HJ
SCIO Registration Books Abroad SC011359. Copyright © 2015 Books Abroad