New bookshop, café and events space to combat loneliness opening in Manchester

Projects funded by book sale profits will engage the square mile around the shop, working with local charities to combat social isolation
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A new purpose-led independent bookshop, café and events space is launching in Manchester to help combat loneliness in the community.

The House of Books & Friends, launched by law firm gunnercooke, which has an office in Manchester, is due to open this autumn in Bruntwood’s Manchester Club building at the top of King Street.

The bookshop has been set up as a Community Interest Company (meaning it seeks to benefit the community rather than private shareholders) and will offer initiatives for customers and businesses through pay it forward schemes, as well as opportunities to make connections with their community through events and a café.

Projects funded by book sale profits will engage the square mile around the shop, working alongside local charities to combat social isolation and connect a wide breadth of people including the elderly, new parents, and local schools.

“Loneliness is a widespread and growing issue in our society,” said Darryl Cooke, founder of gunnercooke.

“It can affect anyone of any age and can come about from many different causes at any time.

“We believe that bookshops can provide a powerful tool.

“Reading can connect us physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

“When we read we are not alone.

“Our focus will be to connect all the charities we work with and, at the heart, to develop a culture of connection.

“We have appointed a talented Bookshop Manager from Waterstones, Naomi Self, and are currently recruiting a team who can bring passion and work alongside us and our charity partners to bring our dream to fruition.”

To keep up to date with the launch of The House of Books & Friends or for job opportunities, sign up to the mailing list, or visit Twitter @Books_n_friends, Facebook  or Instagram @houseofbooksandfriends.

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