This is why mystery books promising a 'blind date' have been appearing in Sheffield parks

A woman leaving mystery books in a Sheffield park for locals to pick up is hoping to help raise awareness for an important cause.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 6:00 am
Melissa left the mystery books in Endcliffe Park.

Melissa Leeming, aged 24, collected books over lockdown because she had more time to read when she began working from home and no longer needed to commute from Dinnington.

She was at a loss for what to do with the books she finished when she had the idea of wrapping them up and leaving them in Endcliffe Park for passers by to collect.

Melissa said: “It’s quite a quirky idea and it recycles books as well. I have given away about 20 books in total. I want them to read the book but I also want them to read about other people.”

Melissa's books included labels directing people to her Just Giving page.

Melissa also used the books to spread awareness about kidney disease and raise money for Kidney Care UK, a cause she is passionate about.

In February, Melissa’s father died form Covid-19, seven years after receiving a life-saving kidney transplant.

She added: “There’s so many people that go to dialysis or kidney meetings and there’s not really much to do. There’s not very many people there to talk to. If you go in for dialysis you can be there for half a day. I hope the money will pay for a volunteer to come in or for them to be able to do something.

“If you are going in for dialysis you can be there for half a day. It can’t ever be enjoyable but hopefully it can be more enjoyable than it is.”

On labels attached to the books, Melissa directed people to her Just Giving page, where she has raised over £1,600. She is also taking part in the London marathon on October 3 as another way of fundraising.

Melissa said: "I want to draw attention to it. Loads of people give books to charity shops but you never get to share what’s happening to you. My story is not wrapped in brown paper in Endcliffe Park. Maybe one day other people will do the same thing and I can find out about their stories.”

To donate to Melissa’s Just Giving page, click here: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/melissa-leeming1.