Book sorters Madeline and Barbara need help to keep EACH shops stocked with gems

Madeline Gotts and Barbara Browning at the EACH distribution centre in Thetford.

Madeline Gotts and Barbara Browning at the EACH distribution centre in Thetford. - Credit: Archant

They say you should never judge a book by its cover.

But for Madeline Gotts and Barbara Browning, volunteers at East Anglia's Children's Hospices' (EACH) distribution centre in Thetford, it is a key part of their job.

The two dedicated volunteers are charged with the task of sorting through the swathes of books donated to the charity, picking out the first editions and rare gems which will fetch premium prices at 20 shops across the region.

But now the duo - who have 17 years of experience between them - desperately need more help to keep on top of the job.

Mrs Gotts said: 'We love books - so the role was perfect for us. We come along, sort through the books and pick out ones which we think could get more money and give those to the eBay shop manager.

'We then sort through finding all the clean, good quality ones and box them ready to send them onto the shops.

'It's so interesting to see what people donate and we've had some funny ones over the years.'

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Mrs Browning added: 'We both had careers as midwives so to us, choosing a children's charity to volunteer for was a must.

'We love EACH and we have a great time when we come in. The team is friendly and we have a lovely time chatting as we sort.

'I'd definitely recommend it to anyone with a passion for books as you see some great ones coming through.'

EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across East Anglia and support their families.

Cheryl Burns, EACH Retail Distribution Centre Manager, said: 'Books are a great seller in our shops, and we get so many generous donations from people that it's really labour intensive to sort through them.

'If you're interested in helping out with sorting books we'd love to hear from you.'

For more information on volunteering, contact Cheryl Burns on 01842 821620 or email

Have you been carrying out an interesting role? Email to let us know.

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