Raising the profile of a train station bookshop

Raising the profile of a train station bookshop

Guest Bloggers | 20 June 2018

In the summer of 2017, the 40-odd volunteers who operate the Pitlochry Station Bookshop were thrilled to learn that Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) – one of the six charities we support – had nominated us as Voluntary Fundraising Group of the Year in the Scottish Fundraising Awards. Imagine our excitement when we subsequently learned that we were on a short list of three to win the award.

We are all very proud of the achievements of our group. The bookshop, located on Platform 1 at Pitlochry Railway Station, is run entirely by volunteers. This summer we’ll notch up quarter of a million pounds given to charities from the sale of second hand books – mostly at £1 each! 

But this was icing on the cake – a boost to our confidence and a warm feeling that our efforts really were appreciated.

A number of us and the CEO of SCAA booked places at the awards dinner in October and came along all dolled up for an evening of fun, food and anticipation. It was just like the Oscars! After a splendid meal out came the gold envelopes, the nominees were introduced and the winners’ names read from the dramatically opened envelopes.

The other nominees in our category sounded very impressive. We were all having a splendid evening and, although our hopes were high, we were so happy to have gotten this far. But, it was indded our name that came out of the envelope and we were awarded Scotland’s Voluntary Fundraising Group of the Year! The second bottle of bubbly was just being opened when SCAA’s David Craig told us his announcement that we’d won has attracted 18,000 Facebook hits!

The effect of all this has raised our profile considerably. We display our win as a badge of honour in our store and on our website. Customers from all over the world are duly impressed! This has certainly been the highlight of the last year for the Pitlochry Station Bookshop.


Graham Holmes, Chairman of Pitlochry Station Bookshop

Now retired, Graham had a 35-year career with Royal Bank of Scotland. He now volunteers for a number of organisations in Pitlochry, including Pitlochry Station Bookshop (since 2007). 



Institute of Fundraising Scotland awards are open for nominations until 29 June


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