Bucks-based audiobook charity launches £140,000 appeal
Calibre Audio wants to add 1,000 new books to its collection - provided free of charge to anyone who needs them
A Buckinghamshire-based national audiobook charity has launched an appeal to add 1,000 new books to its collection this year.
Calibre Audio, based in Aylesbury, provides a completely free audiobook service for anyone with a disability that makes reading print difficult. For some members, the platform is their only connection to the joy that books and reading can bring.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the service to members nationwide. For those faced with physical and emotional isolation due to Covid-19, reading has provided not just entertainment but a vital means of connection.
Each year, its service connects over 15,600 people, delivering more than 1,300 books a day across various accessible listening formats.
This year, the charity, like many others, has felt the severe effects of the pandemic and has had the additional cost of adapting to be Covid-19 compliant - keeping staff and volunteers safe whilst providing a high-quality audiobook service.
Calibre Audio receives no government funding, and it costs an average of £1.5 million a year to run the charity.
In order to keep up with its growing membership base - which is expected to increase to 17,500 this year - the charity needs to raise £140,000 to continue to run its service.
CEO Anthony Kemp said: “As a result of coronavirus, we are all facing new challenges. We want to ensure that our members are not the ones to suffer.
"We urgently need to raise this funding to be able to continue providing our service, adding new books to the collection and supporting people nationwide - whether it’s providing a child with dyslexia the means to start a lifelong love of reading, or a visually impaired member to find a moment of escapism and stimulation.“
Each new book added to the collection costs on average £250 to purchase or produce in the accessible format needed for members.
For more information about the appeal, see here