Blackwell's Bookshop in Oxford is expecting a surge of book donations as customers support bookshop Giving Trees across the country.

The Giving Tree is a scheme which benefits local charities by providing books to children who may not otherwise receive a book – or indeed any present – this Christmas.

Customers simply visit the bookshop, pick a tag from the tree, and buy a book that fits the description on the tag.

Typical descriptions might be ‘a book for an eight-year-old who loves dragons’ or ‘a book for an 11-year-old who likes stories about time travel’.

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Book lovers have an opportunity to use their own love of literature to inform which books they select.

The company has been running the scheme for about a decade, and the first Blackwell’s bookshop in the UK to run it was Blackwell’s Edinburgh.

The initiative is also working well at the chain’s Westgate store - where there is a tree inside.

Thea Hobbs, Children’s Bookseller at Blackwell’s, Oxford, said: “The organisation this takes behind the scenes is pretty extensive – liaising with our partners, publicising the scheme to our customers, creating the tags, collating the lists, wrapping and sending the books – but the Giving Tree is absolutely something we believe in passionately.

“Year after year, our charity partners tell us what a wonderful initiative this is, and year after year our customers.”

Jacari and ARCh Oxfordshire are the two charities being supported by Oxford’s Giving Tree.

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Freya Turner works at Jacari, a charity based in Oxford and Bristol, which provides free 1:1 tutoring for disadvantaged migrant, asylum seeking and refugee children aged 6-16.

She said: “Jacari are thrilled to have been chosen as one of Blackwells’ partner charities for the Giving Tree 2021.

“One of Jacari’s values is Love of Learning, and we strongly believe in the value of reading for inculcating a lifelong love of learning in our pupils.

“The disruptions to schooling over the past few years have hit children who speak English as an additional language particularly hard, so we’re encouraging the public to buy a book to support our pupils.”

Jane Rendle at ARCh Oxfordshire said: “We are delighted to be participating in Blackwell’s Giving Tree campaign.

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“The aim of ARCh is to impart a love of reading to disadvantaged children across the county to enhance their lives at school and beyond.

“We would be grateful if customers feel able to buy an extra book to donate, and volunteer with us too.”

For more on making a donation email