Skip navigation to main content

The Big Give Christmas Challenge Round Up!

Written by The Reader, 7th December 2017

Seven days. Three match-funders. 292 donors. £45,881 pounds raised to train and support volunteers to bring weekly Shared Reading groups to isolated older people across the UK.


Phew - What a week! At midday on Tuesday we wrapped up The Big Give Christmas Challenge after a huge seven-day campaign to raise funds for our work with socially isolated older people.

We were blown away by the generosity of our supporters right across the country, from Cornwall up to Aberdeenshire, and from Norfolk all the way across to Tyrone, 292 individuals gave a total of £21,369 in just seven days.

And thanks to the support of CHK Charities Ltd, Booker Prize winning translator Deborah Smith and an anonymous match-funder we had an incredible opportunity to double the impact of individual donations made during the week-long campaign, which when combined with gift aid raised a total of £45,881 to train and support volunteer Reader Leaders who will read with older people in care homes and community settings across the UK.

To everyone who donated, baked, knitted, raised money through book sales, tweeted, talked to radio DJs, friends, family, neighbours and strangers to spread the news - we'd like to say a huge Reader thank you!

We launched the Christmas Challenge on Tuesday 28 November with our wonderful Knit and Natter group at our headquarters in Calderstones Park, with an incredible donation of £1106 raised through the sale of their homemade wares at The Reader Gallery. We also welcomed Rhod Davies from the Charity Aid Foundation to a Shared Reading group to celebrate Giving Tuesday.

We were thrilled by the wonderful feature on Deborah Smith's support for the campaign on The Bookseller, who said:

“Ever since I won the prize I've been agonising over what to do with the money, and when I heard about the work The Reader does I thought 'I want that to happen in Doncaster'.

Literature has opened so many doors for me and growing up I felt like my real education came from reading books from my local library, so it's really important to me to be able to give something back.

Reading has so many amazing benefits for mental and physical health, which is why the idea that you have to have money or a particular education to access it is so damaging and dangerous. Books should be for everybody – my life would have been completely different without them."

Read the article in full.

Across the week our friends at Cheshire Farm's Ice Cream Farm raised money to donate to The Big Give Christmas Challenge and at Reader HQ we held a week of exciting events, with the Giving Tuesday Book Giveaway, after-dark heritage tours with The Calder Stones by Candlelight, a Literary Bake Off and festive fun at The Reader's Christmas Courtyard Fair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Reader Story

‘You can’t pay for this’ – Patricia’s Story

Patricia is a regular at a special Shared Reading group at her local hospital, for people living with chronic pain.…

Read more
Whittard of Chelsea postcard with quote from Saki
Calderstones

The Reader marks new Whittard partnership with ‘Tea Masterclass’ fundraiser – join us!

To kick-start its partnership with Liverpool-based charity The Reader, Whittard of Chelsea is hosting a Tea Masterclass and Shared Reading…

Read more
Shared Reading

The Reader asks the people of Greater Manchester to read aloud with those recovering from addiction on World Mental Health Day

After almost a decade reading in the city’s mental health wards, new groups will help people in the community tackling…

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.