THE October Club’s annual charitable gala, held at the prestigious Savoy Hotel, marked a triumphant culmination of their fundraising efforts, collecting an impressive sum of £640,000 for Schoolreaders, a national charity dedicated to improving children’s literacy.
Schoolreaders was carefully chosen as The October Club’s charity partner for 2023, and the event drew over 370 prominent guests.
During the gala, attendees heard from Louise Youngman, the Headteacher of one of Schoolreaders’ longest-standing partner schools, who passionately spoke about her first-hand experience in the critical role that literacy and the work done by Schoolreaders, plays in shaping young minds and futures.
“Once you have reading, you can access so much more learning, because you can access so much more information. Without reading, you can’t access the internet, you can’t access the books, which is all so important for life skills and getting older.”
Nicola Marfleet, HM Prison & Probation Service, also spoke to highlight the long-term impact of poor literacy on young lives and its effect on rates of criminality in the UK.
In ten years, Schoolreaders volunteers have delivered over 1.5 million 1:1 reading support sessions and currently, 18,000 children receive support every week across 930 primary schools. Their focus is to reach the most disadvantaged children in the most deprived areas.
The funding generously raised at The October Club dinner last night will catapult Schoolreaders’ growth into the North of England, enabling 26,000 more children over three years to receive this vital reading support, changing their life outcomes and transforming communities.
The evening’s fundraising success was achieved in a number of ways, including a live and silent auction. Generous donors provided exceptional auction lots, such as a ‘money can’t buy’ opportunity to walk with elephants, fine jewellery from Boodles and Kiki McDonough and luxury experiences, such as a stay in Cornwall’s renowned St. Moritz hotel. In addition to the auctions, attendees had the opportunity to make pledges to support the next three years of Schoolreaders’ transformational child literacy work in the North of England.
Jane Whitbread, Founder and Chief Executive of Schoolreaders, expressed her gratitude, she said:
“We are immensely thankful for the support of The October Club. The remarkable funds raised at the TOC Dinner will bring the gift of literacy to countless more children, unlocking further educational opportunities and shaping a brighter future for them.”
Chair of The October Club, Samantha Huggins stated:
“What a truly remarkable evening. Our sponsors, donors and supporters have been understandably moved by the impact Schoolreaders has had over the last 10 years, and the trajectory of what their funds can achieve in the North of England. The cascading effect of improved primary school literacy on our communities and the children within them could not be clearer, and we are absolutely thrilled that Schoolreaders will use TOC’s funds to create opportunities for generations.”
The October Club continues its legacy of philanthropy, supporting impactful causes that make a difference. Schoolreaders is poised to use this generous donation to create a brighter future for children, families and communities across the North.