Leading stars including Natalie Dormer, Richard E Grant, Felicity Jones, Michael Palin and Twiggy raise awareness of ‘Just A Book’ – an initiative from Just A Card and Funding Circle supporting small businesses.

17 June 2019

DOMINIC COOPER • NATALIE DORMER • NATHALIE EMMANUEL • CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG • RICHARD E GRANT • FELICITY JONES • HANIF KUREISHI • ALEX LANIPEKUN • HAYLEY MILLS • JAMES NORTON • DAVID OAKES • MICHAEL PALIN • BRUCE ROBINSON • GRETA SCACCHI • TWIGGY

Fifteen leading stars of film, TV, literature and the arts have joined forces with grassroots campaign Just A Card and leading small business loan platform Funding Circle to support independent bookshops through the ‘Just A Book’ initiative.

Established by artist Sarah Hamilton and run by a group of passionate artists, makers and small business owners, Just A Card has worked tirelessly to encourage people to buy from artists, designers and independent shops and businesses since 2015. Just A Card’s belief is that all sales however small - just a card, just a book, just a gift - are the difference between vibrant high streets or boarded up shops. This simple yet powerful message is changing the way people shop; today, over 10,000 small businesses display the distinctive Just A Card window sticker.  

Building on this momentum, Just A Card has partnered with Funding Circle to launch its latest initiative, ‘Just A Book’. This celebrates books and local bookshops, and is a further reminder to consumers that their purchasing choices have a huge impact on the wider community and the future of our high streets.

In the words of Georgia Duffy from Imagined Things bookshop in Harrogate who took to Twitter to appeal for support in June 2018, “If anyone was thinking about buying a book, now would be a great time! A card, a book, anything, makes a huge difference to an independent’s future.”

To strengthen this message and show their support, fifteen stars have each been photographed reading their favourite book. This captivating and moving series of photographs, beautifully shot by acclaimed portrait photographer Charlie Gray, invites the onlooker to consider ‘what’s your just a book?’

Sarah Hamilton, Founder of Just A Card:

Everyone loves independents and wants to support them, but often we don’t appreciate how vital each and every purchase is. Just a book, just a card, just a coffee...they all add up and are critical to small business success. We’re challenging shoppers to think about where they spend their money, and show how much they value the independent shops that make our High Streets so special.

James Meekings, Funding Circle co-founder and UK Managing Director:

Our philosophy is that when small businesses thrive, everyone benefits. Independent bookshops and retailers are important to the economy, and our local communities. We want everyone in the UK to get behind this campaign.

 ENDS

 THE IMAGES IN THIS PRESS RELEASE AND THE ENTIRE PORTFOLIO OF ‘JUST A BOOK’ PORTRAITS ARE UNDER STRICT EMBARGO UNTIL 17 JUNE 2019 UNLESS BY PRIOR AGREEMENT

All images by Charlie Gray photography © Funding Circle

Images from the ‘Just A Book’ campaign available on request. For further information, image serial rights and interview requests for Sarah Hamilton (Just A Card) and James Meekings (Funding Circle) contact:

Orla Houston-Jibo PR

orla@houstonjibo.com

07963 623 247

Notes to Editors

 About Just A Card (www.justacard.org)

The campaign began when Artist and Designer Sarah Hamilton read a quote by gallery owners who’d been forced to close: “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’ we’d still be open.” It was a call to action. Just a card, just a book, just a gift – that’s all it takes. The message has struck a chord – thousands of artists, designers, makers, museum and gallery owners and curators have campaign posters and window stickers, use the logo and take part in events. Just A Card’s alternative to Black Friday, ‘Indie Friday’, made such an impact it featured on BBC TV News and BBC Radio.

About Funding Circle (www.fundingcircle.com)

Funding Circle (LSE: FCH) is a global small business loans platform, connecting businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. Since launching in 2010, investors across Funding Circle's geographies - including more than 85,000 retail investors, banks, asset management companies, insurance companies, government-backed entities and funds - have lent more than £6 billion to over 68,000 businesses. Funding Circle is a member of the FTSE 250 Index.

Funding Circle has made a generous donation to UK based children’s’ arts educational charity Anno’s Africa (Annosafrica.org) in the name of those photographed, in lieu of a fee.

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