Virtual Chiswick Book Festival Raises £1,500 for Charities – ChiswickW4.com
Three local charities have each received £500 from the latest Chiswick Book Festival, despite COVID-19 which meant there could be no ticket sales. The 2020 Festival was held online, funded by donations and sponsorship. Authors such as Antonia Fraser, Loyd Grossman and Jeremy Vine took part on video and Zoom and in podcasts.
Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival, said: “We couldn’t sell tickets last year, so our charity donations are only a tenth of the level a year ago, but we’re delighted to have made a surplus at all. St Michael’s gave our virtual Festival its full support, we cut costs to the bone and invited Chiswickbuzz.com and The Chiswick Calendar to help run our sessions online. We’re very grateful to them and other sponsors, who helped cover our costs, and to all who gave us donations.”
The three Chiswick Book Festival charities are working hard to overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19.
- Doorstep Library recruits volunteers to read to children and has set up an online reading service – you can read more here.
- InterAct Stroke Support provides actors to read books to stroke patients and has set up an InterAct at Home service – you can read more here
- The Felix Project collects surplus food and delivers it to charities and schools and has been busier than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. You can read more about its work in 2020 here.
Isabella White, community and challenge events fundraiser for The Felix Project, said: “I am thrilled to hear £500 was raised for each charity supported by The Chiswick Book Festival this year and I want to say a massive thank you, to you and all involved behind-the-scenes, for managing to pull it off despite the changes needed to make it virtual.”
Nirjay Mahindru, chief executive of InterAct Stroke Support, said: “Thank you for the hard work the team put in to get the virtual event up under difficult circumstances. The Festival have always been very generous to us and we very much look forward to a Covid-free book festival in September and actually seeing each other again.”
Annabel James, chair of Doorstep Library, said: “A huge huge thank you from everyone at Doorstep for your continued support – particularly during these very strange times. We are extremely grateful to you all, and very proud to be associated with the Festival. We are continuing to support families as the pandemic continues and our fingers are crossed that the 2021 book festival can go ahead in person.”
£500 was also given to St Michael & All Angels Church, which runs the Festival and is itself a charity.
This year’s Chiswick Book Festival will take place from September 9th to 15th 2021.