New Mobile Library for the Homeless

“One of the problems that homeless people face is a lack of motivation, partly due to boredom. Finding something of interest to look forward to can be life changing.” (Rev’d Pat Southgate, Chair of Routes to Roots).  

Routes to Roots undertakes a number of initiatives to provide the homeless with worthwhile activities, such as afternoon workshops and outdoor summer activities, and has now joined forces with Quaker Homeless Action to provide a mobile library for the homeless in Dorset and Hampshire. QHA has provided such a facility in London since 1999 toallow those without a permanent address access to books.

The Quaker Mobile Library in partnership with Routes to Roots will not just be a provider of reading material but also a venue for meeting and socialising.

It will make its first appearance at St Peter’s Summer Fayre in Ashley Cross Green, Poole, on Saturday 9 June. A regular schedule is still being set up but will include Soup-Runs in Poole and R2R afternoon and evening Drop-Ins at the United Reform Church, Skinner Street, Poole. It is also planned to offer the facility to other homeless outreach operations and charities in Dorchester, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth. 

Volunteers are needed to catalogue and prepare the books for lending, to drive the van and to help clients to access books at the various locations that they will be visiting. If this might interest you, please get in touch with Caroline Foy at or on 07901 387643. 

“TheQuaker Mobile Library in partnership with Routes to Rootswill provide Routes to Roots with our first branded presence in Poole,” says Gabi Sanger-Stevens, General Manager for R2R. “Quaker Homeless Action found it to bea volunteer job with immense satisfaction and we’re expecting similar enthusiasm from our helpers and clients. We will be lending out books that have been donated using a library card system but are not too concerned about any that go missing as long as the readers return.”

24 May 2012


For further information, please contact:

Caroline Foy

Routes to Roots Office

Skinner Street URC, Poole BH15 1QR 

Tel: 01202 667880 / 07901 387643



Routes to Roots is supported by Big Yellow Storage, Conical Sphere Web Design & Group UK, Princecroft Willis LLP, RGL Displays Ltd and The Fisherman Café, as well as by many Church and Christian groups in Poole and the surrounding area.

Background Information

Founded on Christian principles, and registered as a charity in 2002, Routes to Roots seeks to help all homeless people in Poole regardless of their faith. They hold drop-in sessions to provide immediate social and spiritual support as well as the basic necessities for life: food, clothing, a place to wash and a place to rest. They help to house rough sleepers and follow up to identify what each person needs to move forward and to maintain their housing and independent living. Routes to Roots seek to inspire, encourage and equip the community of Poole to respond to the needs of homeless people with compassion, and in ways that are creative and liberating.