Virtual Chiswick Book Festival Raises £1500 for Charities

This year's hopefully in person event planned for September

Montage of the events in the festival
Montage of the events in the festival

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Three local charities have each received £500 from the latest Chiswick Book Festival which was held virtually due to Covid-19.

The 2020 Festival was held online, funded by donations and sponsorship rather than the normal ticket sales. In previous years the festival has raised over £5,000. Authors such as Antonia Fraser, Loyd Grossman and Jeremy Vine took part on video and Zoom and in podcasts.

The money will be split between the three nominated Chiswick Book Festival charities which are working hard to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic.

- Doorstep Library recruits volunteers to read to children and has set up an online reading service.
- InterAct Stroke Support provides actors to read books to stroke patients and has set up an InterAct at Home service
- The Felix Project collects surplus food and delivers it to charities and schools and has been busier than ever during the COVID-19 crisis.

Isabella White, community and challenge events fundraiser for The Felix Project, said, “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.”

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 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.”

This year’s Chiswick Book Festival will take place from 9 to 15 September.

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January 31, 2021

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