CHARITY IDEA: WOULD THIS WORK? – A WIN FOR TRAIN STATIONS AND THE UNEMPLOYED

pa-1475331Greetings one and all. I was waiting for a train the other day when I had what a rather uncouth friend of mine calls a ‘brain-fart’. I was stood on my local station, looking across the tracks at the abandoned cabin opposite. For many moons it had been a tobacconists of sorts, selling papers, chewing gum, that kind of thing. But for reasons only economists understand, it shut down at the start of year, and shut down it has stayed. And this got me thinking…what exactly could you do with this empty unit?

In truth, not a lot. It’s barely bigger than a snooker table. But that didn’t stop my brain having a crack at the problem. In fact, my brain was having so much of a crack at the problem I quite missed the announcement that my train was delayed/cancelled due to a ‘train failure’ – whatever thats means. However, I didn’t mind so much because my brain hit upon a rather nifty idea.

Turn the space into a book shop!

Groan.

Wait…hear me out! I’m not talking about turning it into a Waterstones or anything. I’m talking about turning it into a charity bookshop. If there’s one thing commuters love it’s a read, and a second-hand book shop on a train platform would do a good trade in paperback thrillers I should imagine. But, why stop there? Why not make it a charity book-shop? The problem with that is you can’t pay anyone to run it…and then…lo and behold the penny to end all pennies dropped.

Let unemployed volunteers run it!

Why is this such a good idea? Well…train stations are at their busiest during rush hour (obviously). And during rush hour many well-paid (and possibly over-paid) suity types wait about for a bit. Now, if you were looking for a job, what better place to catch an employer’s attention? Each week (or each day) a different unemployed person can run the platform book shop. In return they get to put their name, qualifications and the type of job they are looking for up on a big board.

THIS WEEK’S BOOKSELLER: DOT GUMBI, ENGLISH GRAD, 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE WITH OTTERS, LOOKING TO WORK IN ACCOUNTING

You get the idea.

So, to recap…all the money made goes to charity. The workers (or book-sellers) get volunteer experience and the chance to hit a lot of potential employers. Passengers get to browse, buy or donate books. And potential employers have the chance (should they wish) to talk to someone wanting to get into their industry.

Of course…all of this relies on the power of good within people and the hope that it doesn’t fall foul of scoffing and the somewhat British preconception of ‘Nothing changes’. If it doesn’t work in the UK, I reckon this idea could work in America. So, what do you reckon? Think your local station would benefit from this? Or have I overlooked a gigantic flaw in the plan?

Answers on a postcard…

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