Calibre Audio
Reading Resolution 2020
Supporters Newsletter

There’s so much to report from fundraising this year, not least having to work through and around the Covid-19 virus, which has of course dominated the whole year for all of us. Early in the year we ensured our offices were as covid-compliant as possible so staff would feel safe and secure coming to work. We have been able to continue throughout the year, sending out thousands of books to all our members. But sadly we had to admit defeat just at the last hurdle, and as you may be aware, due to a local outbreak of the virus, we have now closed our office doors until 29th December. The safety of our staff and volunteers is paramount but when we open again we’ve many more exciting things to come in 2021. But first, a brief update of this year:

Fundraising News

Early on in 2020 we were delighted to have two new members of staff join our fundraising team - Joe Edward-Few, who works with us as a Senior Trusts Fundraiser and Nila James, who is our new Director of Fundraising. They increased our small but enthusiastic team from three to five members, all of us now working within our own specialities to raise as much money as we can for the charity.

2.6 challenge

In April we took part in the 2.6 Challenge, which was founded by the London Marathon and other event organisers as a national virtual event to help UK’s charities during the Coronavirus lockdown. Participants were encouraged to fundraise around the numbers 2 and 6 - for example to run 2.6 miles. Our CEO, Anthony, cycled 26 miles and raised £1,049.52 and our Chairman, Richard, created a fun puzzle and raised £506.99; meanwhile Becci on our fundraising team crocheted delightful creations to order and raised £286. Altogether we raised a respectable amount of £2,131.

Following on from that, we launched our annual appeal which raised an incredible £121,198. This year was very much centred around the pandemic, and the need to keep our service running for all those who found themselves isolated and alone. We know from all the letters of thanks that we receive, that our books are a lifeline to many members, so this year especially, the need to keep our audiobooks available to all who need them has mattered to us more than ever!

In October, we received the wonderful news that we had been awarded a grant from The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust Charity Survival Fund. The amount awarded to us was an amazing £92,587 and we are hugely grateful to Julia and Hans Rausing for this money. This is the largest gift Calibre has ever received from a Trust.

Finally as we near the end of the year, our fundraising focus has been on The Big Give Christmas Challenge, which we were delighted to have been a part of this year. The biggest match funding event in the UK, the challenge ran from 1st to 8th December and we are grateful to our partners, Kings Access Technology and The Reed Foundation, who agreed to match up to £4,500 of our donations. Our goal was to raise £12,000 to add 48 new books to the library. We didn’t quite reach this, perhaps understandable in the current climate, but we did raise an amazing £7,968 which will pay for 32 new books to go into our collection this Christmas.

In other news:

Aside from fundraising, we have several other items of news to share with you. Firstly we were lucky to have two new members of staff join us in October- Graham Bainbridge as our Director of Finance and Resources and Max Hailey as our new Chief Operating Officer. Graham comes to us with a vast amount of accounting experience, having recently worked in finance in several not-for-profit organisations including Crohns & Colitis UK. Max was the Managing Director of Mix 96, the local radio station for Bucks, and has recently stepped down following the integration of the business into the Greatest Hits Radio network.

We also have some hugely exciting news to tell you about our new streaming and download services, launched just this week. Calibre already offered a streaming option, but we now have a vastly improved offering on our brand new streaming platform:

We are also delighted to announce that our audiobook collection will now be available for download through the Dolphin EasyReader App, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. The app is very accessible and specifically designed for readers with dyslexia or vision impairment and is highly intuitive to use.

Take a closer look at our download/streaming options

Finally looking ahead to next year, we are planning on going full steam ahead to increase our membership offering and continue our fundraising efforts. Calibre will be looking to invest in some new systems and technology across the organisation as well as investing in the people who work for us to bring all Calibre members the best service we possibly can. We will be back in touch again next year but until then may we take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful 2021.

Best wishes,

Terry Squire

Senior Fundraiser

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HP22 5XQ
United Kingdom

Registered charity no. 286614

Calibre Audio is the trading name of Calibre Audio Library.

01296 380 558

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