The Kittiwake Trust

The Kittiwake Trust was set up as a community organisation in Gateshead in 2009. It became a CIO on 26 January 2016 with Charity number 1165318.  Its sister organisation the Kittiwake Stichting was set up in the Netherlands in 2004. The two organisations are entirely  independent of each other apart from sharing one trustee each and the symbolism of the Kittiwake.

The Kittiwake was chosen because it spends most of the year at sea and comes to land for the breeding season. Even then, it stays on the cliffs and coastal areas – on the margins of  society, much like the majority of those we support.

The original project of the Kittiwake Trust is Borderline Books. In 2015, we also opened the Kittiwake Trust Multilingual Library in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The aims of the Kittiwake Trust are to enhance education in the broadest sense of the word – in this way we can develop new projects as the need arises, without needing to set up a new charity.

We currently run all our projects in empty commercial properties which keeps costs manageable, but of course it means that we could need to move at any time.... so we live in a similar situation of uncertainty as many of the people we work to support.

The Kittiwake Trust Projects

The Kittiwake Trust - MultiLingual Library

Multilingual Library
Over 8000 books in 80 languages

  Our beautiful, fragrant library opened in Eldon Garden shopping Centre in Newcastle in August 2015. We currently have over 7000 books in 75 languages (and Geordie), most of which can be loaned out. Membership costs £5 per year and the loan period is one month. We also operate a 'pay it forward' system where people can pay in advance for those unable to afford the fee. This allows us to offer free memberships to people belonging to local refugee support groups.
The Kittiwake Trust - Borderline Books

Borderline Books
Free books - Free minds

  For many years we have been collecting books that are no longer needed by publishers, libraries, charity shops and individuals in order to save them from being pulped. We redistribute them free of charge to organizations working with women and children fleeing domestic abuse, people who are homeless or struggling with dependency issues and to those supporting refugees. We also give books to care homes and schools in the area. More recently we have been placing books in police custody suites, prison libraries and education departments and now also to individual prisoners.

Latest News

Open Day and Art Auction

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For well over a year we have been giving books to prison libraries and education departments. About one year ago we also began giving books to custody suites, and this year we have begun sending books direct to people in prison. In all cases the books have met with very positive reactions. - the letters we receive from prisoners and some of the librarians prove that books, and some contact with the outside make a gigantic difference to the way people feel.