Rebound Books by L’Arche is a highly successful social enterprise which started out in the L’Arche Brecon Community’s small workshop in Brecon town centre, South Wales, UK.

It is a project that saves old books that are destined for landfill and transforms them into journals, notebooks, sketchbooks and diaries. The project integrates adults with learning disabilities with others from the wider community.

L’Arche Brecon underwent training in 2010 and carried on to take on the Rebound Books brand.

With almost 10 years experience under their belt, Rebound Books has proven to be a Social Enterprise ‘Beacon in Brecon’, welcoming other groups and communities around the UK visiting to see just how they operate.

View the Rebound Books website.

L’Arche Brecon Community is part of an International Federation of 134 communities in 31 countries, where people with and without learning disabilities live and work together.

The L’Arche vision is to create a society where the gifts of people with learning disabilities are recognised and utilised, enabling them to take a full part in society.

Visit the L’Arche Brecon website.

The value of the Workshop

“For our members the workshop is a form of occupational therapy, allowing them to make a unique contribution to the wider community with the message that ‘disability is not inability’.

Knowing this they can wake up each morning with a sense of purpose and fall asleep each night with a sense of pride.”

Working together

Agnes is a workshop facilitator for Rebound Books at L’Arche Brecon. She reflects on how the gifts of people with and without learning disabilities are revealed through teamwork and creativity.

‘At Rebound Books we take new books and we cut off the spine. We take some pages out and we add some blank pages. We cut the paper ourselves. We print lines or diary pages on it if we like. We bind it up and use the spine to make a bookmark. We go to different festivals and we sell online.

Read full article

Upcycled notebooks

Everyone is unique

Hand made by L’Arche Brecon these books not only retain their own unique and original character but also bring together a community people with and without learning disabilities, providing employment and a source of income for a truly worthwhile organisation.

Each book is made by hand and uses high quality reclaimed paper and wire bindings. Other features include:

  • Lined pages
  • Elastic closing
  • Ribbon place marker
  • Bookmark from the spine

Proving very popular are the ‘Rebound Records’; notebooks made from vintage vinyl records.

Custom Diaries & Address Books

At Rebound Books any book can be turned into a diary. They offer 3 different layouts – pocket sized, standard and desk diaries.

  • Practical design with a ‘week to view’ format
  • Custom made with the option of customised message on the first page
  • Language options offered

Added Value

Rebound Books has inspired a whole raft of other creative activities in the workshop. The group has been finding creative uses for the spare pages of the books they use.

Over the years this has led to some really creative extra products and activities including:

  • Recycled Gift wrap
  • Custom notebooks
  • Decoupage furniture
  • Recycled bunting
  • Vintage paper confetti
  • Book making Workshops for the local community


Rebound Books are sold in a variety of ways for which they have developed custom made display boards made from recycled pallets and book pages:

  • A dedicated  display area at The Muse Community venue in Brecon
  • Local gift and book shops
  • Online sales from their website
  • Regular stall at the local farmers market in Brecon
  • Local fairs and festivals

Winners of the Green Dragon's Den!

In 2011 Rebound Books were recognised for their ‘sustainable solution to climate change’ and won the ‘Hay on Earth’ Green Dragon’s Den a prize of £10,000.

Read full article

Summary of Benefits

Rebound Books received support from the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund to help with purchasing equipment and training. The aims of the project met the SDF Pillars: Social, Environmental & Economic

  1. To reduce the amount of books being discarded and put into landfill, by reusing them to create beautiful and unique products.
  2. To create activities and employment for people with learning disabilities
  3. To make the skills and gifts of people with learning disabilities more visible and valued by everyone in society
  4. To create a strong community network of diverse people, committed to recycling, who through working together can make the enterprise sustainable and mutually beneficial

Explanatory note:


L’Arche Brecon underwent training with us in 2010, purchased tools, equipment and machinery and an ecommerce website. They are a truly amazing group and an inspiration to us all.

We don’t wish to take any credit for any of the super hard work they have put into their thriving enterprise since then, and we are displaying their photos and video for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to visit their shop and buy a Rebound Book!