Oxfam Bookshop, Petergate York

This is the blog for the Oxfam Book Shop on Low Petergate in York



Christmas with a Difference

At Oxfam Books, we love Christmas. If you happen to pop into the shop you’ll notice we’ve already got into the swing of the festive season, selling a range of seasonal products from Fairtrade advent calendars to Christmas crackers as the countdown to Christmas officially gets underway! But this year, what we love even more is Christmas with a Difference.

Christmas with a Difference is a special event run by St Michael le Belfrey Church, with the aim being to help you make a difference this Christmas by showing you how your spending can help others. Oxfam will have a stall at the event, which takes place from 10.30am – 4pm on Saturday 23rd November, and we will be selling our range of beautiful Christmas cards and other holiday gifts with all of the profits going towards Oxfam’s work. This event is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of Oxfam and their fantastic work to eradicate poverty around the world. By purchasing one of our Christmassy items, you can kick-start the holiday season knowing that you are making a difference to somebody living in poverty this Christmas.

Oxfam will be at St Michael’s Christmas with a Difference event all day, so pay us a visit this Saturday and see if anything festive takes your fancy, whilst learning how you can make a difference over the holiday season. With free refreshments provided all day and a whole host of local charities attending, how could you say no?!

Details of the event can be found here.

Featured image courtesy of Bert Kaufmann


What Are You Doing This Weekend?


This weekend, an epic endurance test will ensue in Sussex’s South Downs National Park. Trailwalker 2013 is a 100km challenge across the South Downs Way. The walk has to be completed within 30 hours.  Orginally a training exercise for Gurkhas, the walk started 31 years ago and it was only 11 years ago when it became open to the public. The Queens Gurkha Signals Regiment (QGS) partnered with Oxfam in 2002, enabling the endurance challenge to help raise millions of pounds for humanitarian projects around the world, as well as for the Gurkha Welfare Service. The walk is a mental challenge as much as a physical one, and while applications for undertaking the 2013 walk are now closed, volunteer positions are still available. Starting at Queen Elizabeth County Park, Petersfield, there are nine checkpoints where enthusiastic volunteers will be stationed to aid the walkers with everything from moral support and cups of tea to physiotherapy, blister plasters and foot massages. There is over 2,000 people entered into the walk and volunteer support is trailwalker volunteersinvaluable to all the teams. Oxfam reimburse travel expenses up to £60 for all volunteers and it is an excellent opportunity to help out, have loads of fun with friends, or meet new, like-minded people. Click here to sign up. 

If you’re not free this weekend, there are still so many diverse opportunities to give your time to at Oxfam. It’s not just fundraising or helping out at your local shop. There are always exciting and fun one-off events like Trailwalkers. It might be just what you are looking for if you are not able to give your time regularly but are looking for a way to help. A great way of keeping up to date with our event opportunities is joining the dedicated Oxfam events facebook page here.

Not free on the weekends, or fancy gaining some office experience? Another option are the volunteer internships available at one of Oxfam’s regional offices. This is a really exciting opportunity to gain experience of how a large organisation runs and to see things from a different perspective. It needn’t be said that it looks great on a C.V., too. They are usually 2-3 days a week for a period of anything from 3 to 12 months, still making it viable to work elsewhere at the same time. Some internships currently being featured include a Public Relations Intern in London, Research Intern in Oxford and a Public Engagement Intern in Bristol. Why not give it a go and apply? You never know what might come of it.

Taking the leap into theatre

It’s been a busy couple of months at Oxfam Petergate, and as a result our blog has been feeling a little neglected. As well the facelift the shop is currently undergoing (we’re being freshly painted in time for summer so at the moment we’re covered in scaffolding), we’ve also recently been dabbling in theatre productions.

York Theatre Royal’s latest production, iShandy, is loosely based on Laurence Stern’s novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and here at Oxfam Books we were quick to get involved in bringing this book to life on stage. Our role in this production has been to provide all of the books on set for iShandy  – a suitable task for our first time in theatre.

Our mention in the iShandy programme

Although working with York Theatre Royal and the iShandy production has been our first venture into this sort of partnership, we’re really enjoying being a part of such a fantastic show.We like being able to try new things and it’s exciting for Oxfam Petergate to be able to work within the York community on local projects such as this. In fact, we’ve enjoyed our entrance into theatre so much that we’re keen to keep our involvement going and hopefully work together withYork Theatre Royal again.

Despite this, as a shop we are always open to new suggestions and we are keen to take on new challenges. If you know of an event or project that you think we’d be suitable for, let us know – with a bit of notice we can always pull something together!

iShandy is running at York Theatre Royal until Saturday May 11th, so there’s still plenty of time to head down to the theatre and see it (and our books!) for yourself. We’ve seen it and we think it’s fabulous. You can find out more about the production and how to buy tickets on their website by clicking here.


It is with our biggest apologies that tonight’s International Women’s Day event at Pure Salon has unfortunately had to be cancelled.

Due to a number of illness’ in the beauty team, we are unable to run the event as we would not be able to offer the full range of beauty treatments which we felt would compromise the event as a whole and wouldn’t be fair to all the women expecting a full makeover!

We are really disappointed that we have had to cancel, as a lot of hard work has gone into Oxglam York and it was to raise money for a very worthwhile cause. However, we are so grateful to everyone who has contributed in some way –  particularly Jordan and the hair team at Pure for offering their salon and Chloe Furze for donating her time to do makeup – she’s been fantastic!

We are so sorry to cancel at the last minute as it’s the last thing we wanted to do!

We’d like to thank everyone in the York community for their support with Oxglam York. The Oxfam Spring Clean is still taking place tomorrow at St William’s College from 10am-4pm and we would love to see you all there instead!

Oxglam York

Friday 8th March
Friday 8th March

Please note this event is now happening from 6pm to 8pm

Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day and Oxfam will be celebrating the day through a variety of events in order to raise money for women worldwide.

Not ones to miss out on a chance to get involved and raise awareness, here at Oxfam Petergate, we are organising an event in entitled ‘Oxglam York’. Oxglam York will be hosted by Pure Hair and Beauty on Grape Lane (just around the corner from us) between 6 and 8pm.

‘Oxglam York’ is an event aimed at everyone who enjoys a Friday night out.

We are offering a pre-night out pamper, where you can get your hair, nails and make up touched up by professionals before heading out for a night on the town, all for a £5 donation to Oxfam. If you are anything like me; then the chance to take the stress out of getting ready, and have an actual professional recreate ‘salon perfect hair’, instead of  spending the evening fraught with hair-envy because compared to everyone else, your fringe ‘just does not look right’ sounds ideal, especially as the money you spend will be supporting a good cause.

The money raised through the event will go towards supporting Oxfam’s ongoing women’s projects, in areas that need it most. For more information on how to organise your own event and how Oxfam supports women around the world click here.

So, why not get your night off to a great start join in the pre-night pamper with Oxglam?

We’ll be using #Oxglamyork to spread the word.

Spring Clean

Here at Oxfam Petergate we’re always keen to try new things. After making our way unscathed through the January blues, we’re looking ahead to the next couple of months and planning a few events that will be sure to keep us nice and busy (just the way we like to be!)

The first event is one we’re really looking forward to. We’ve teamed up with all Oxfam shops in York and together we’re hosting an event called the Spring Clean. Taking place on Saturday 9th March at the beautiful St William’s College, this is set to be a Spring Clean extravaganza, and the first of what will hopefully go on to be an annual event in the Oxfam York calendar.

As a one-day fundraising event, we will be selling a range of clothes and books to further support Oxfam’s ongoing work to overcome poverty. As well as this, there will be tea, coffee and cakes available to buy for those who need a break from all the Spring Clean excitement.

With everyone welcome, this should be a great event for the whole family! Entry to the Spring Clean is only £1, and all proceeds will go towards helping the countries most affected by poverty and suffering.

Come along anytime from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 9th March, to St William’s College, for what is going to be a brilliant Spring Clean event!

Featured image courtesy of Liam Moloney

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