Blind children raise £4,000 of vital funds in book reading fundraiser - News - Living Paintings

Living Paintings

Blind children raise £4,000 of vital funds in book reading fundraiser

11th February 2021

Hugless Douglas the Bear sitting on the snow wearing a festive scarf whilst reading and listening to an audio book with his friends the sheep.

We launched our first Big Christmas Read fundraising campaign in November 2020, which ran through to the end of January 2021. We wanted to raise vital funds, awareness and help bring Christmas to life for blind children all over the UK.

With the help of a mix of book lovers, those who find reading a challenge, young book worms and older readers, everyone that took part raised a combined total of £4,000. A big thank you to each and every one of you – you are all reading stars!

And a big Hugless Douglas hug to our dear friend, and amazing illustrator, David Melling for creating a Christmassy illustration to accompany the campaign.

Here are some of the children who took part in The Big Christmas Read and their wonderful fundraising stories.

A pupil feeling a tacitle picture of a snowman.

In full support of the work of Living Paintings is Georgina Harvey from The Brooklands Special School. Georgina speaks passionately about Living Paintings resources and said,

“We are a special school who borrow books from Living Paintings, it has helped our visually impaired pupils to be able to experience story books in a meaningful way. These books are amazing for us.”

The staff and pupils pledged to read a book a week until the 14th January in support of The Big Christmas Read and raised a wonderful £90. Well done Team Brooklands!

The pupils particularly enjoyed reading ‘The Snowman’ and exploring the magical, wintry tactile pictures.

Jacob smiles and holds up a Touch to See adaptation of the Smeds and the Smoos

Jacob, seven years old and visually impaired, loves using our Touch to See Books to learn what the characters and creatures are like in his favourite stories. His mummy, Charlene, said,

“Jacob is raising money for Living Paintings because all kids deserve to read!”

Jacob set himself a target to read two books a week throughout the campaign and raised a staggering £1,496! Thank you Jacob, great work!

Firm favourites enjoyed by Jacob included ‘The Smeds and The Smoos’, ‘The Snowman’, ‘The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet’ and ‘The Bear Who Went Boo!’

Jai reading and feeling The Snowman, smiling.

Jai-Ryan, seven years old and visually impaired, decided to read one book a day for The Big Christmas Read and raised an awesome £140. Thank you Jai-Ryan!

His mummy, Ellen, said,

“He wanted to help raise money and awareness so that other blind children can fulfill their potential just like him. Each book takes an hour to read so this is a big challenge!”

Being blind doesn’t stop Jai-Ryan from being able to use his vivid imagination, and with books from Living Paintings there are no limits on where he can go. He dreams of being the first blind child on the moon and loves ‘Goodnight Spaceman’ and ‘The Snowman’.

Tobias feeling the tactile pictures in The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet.

Tobias, aged six and partially sighted, pledged to read two picture books every day in December with his mummy. Tobias is a new library member who absolutely loves our books and raised a whopping £150! Thank you Tobias.

Tobias and his brother Dylan are partially sighted. They don’t see Christmas in the same way that sighted children do. But you don’t have to see clearly to feel the magic of Christmas or to get lost in a good book! 

His mummy said,
“Tobias is doing this to help raise money so that other children affected by sight loss can access these wonderful books too.”

Matilda holding up a copy of What the Ladybird Heard and wearing a ladybird jacket.

Matilda, 4 years old and visually impaired, pledged to read a book every day with her mummy through December and raised an amazing £273! Thank you Matilda.

Matilda has oculocutaneous albinism and is visually impaired. Her mummy, Laura, found it difficult to get Matilda engaged with picture books, no matter how she tried. But now with Living Paintings’ Touch to See books, the whole family can enjoy reading together.

Laura said,

“Thank you so much everyone for all the donations. We are thrilled to have helped Living Paintings out so much.”

Five year old Monty has glaucoma, so he can’t just pick up a book and look at the pictures in the same way that most children can. But, because he can feel and hear about the pictures in our books he doesn’t miss out.

Monty took part in The Big Christmas Read and read three picture books a week through December and January and raised £742! Monty’s dad, David, said –

“Monty was actively asking for a couple of particular books from Living Paintings that we sent back in Friday’s box. It was great to explain to him how the library system works where we borrow books – he really got it.  The great news is Living Paintings is becoming ingrained in his reading and is part of his daily routine!”

A tactile picture of a mole and a vole holding hands.

So many more amazing pledges were made by sighted and non-sighted children. Cooper challenged himself to read six books and smashed this by reading 15! Edward and Kezia both decided to do lots of additional reading over the Christmas holidays. And a beautiful pledge from a little girl from Berkshire sums up the campaign,

“I am 5 and I will be reading a book with mummy every night to help raise money for children who cannot see as well as me.”

Living Paintings would like to thank all the participants and supporters of The Big Christmas Read, particularly the children for all their efforts with reading and giving up their time to help others.


The books our fundraisers enjoyed the most!

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.


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