As a small person I learnt to read late, but the joy and wonder I found within the pages of books I devoured, was like no other. I could lose myself in other worlds, make new friends and have experiences I could never have imagined. On days when I felt lonely or sad, I could open the pages of my favourite books, and my friends were there, waiting for me.
Before the adventure of opening Squishy Minnie, I’d worked for many years in the community sector as a counsellor, community development worker, manager and youth worker. I’ve met some of the most awe inspiring people, people who against the odds conjure up resilience from deep within them, and continue on in the face of adversity. Sometimes to find that sense of hope to keep going, small people and young adults need to know they have a place in the world, that they are important.
This is where Squishy Minnie comes in. I hope to create a lovely warm welcoming space for all children and young people, regardless of what they look like, how well they read, their physical abilities, their religion, their gender or sexuality. My dream is that they can pop in after school and have a bit of a browse through the books – hopefully discovering books that they relate to and that tell them they belong and they matter. I hope that the books within the walls of Squishy Minnie welcome warmly everyone who enters.