Chiswick Book Festival donates £20,000 to charities

Image above: (L to R) Catherine Jaquiss, Ealing Team Leader, Read Easy UK; Helen West, Trustee, Read for Good; Fr Kevin Morris, Vicar, St Michael & All Angels; Fiona Curran, Chief Executive, Koestler Arts

Chiswick Book Festival donates £20,000 to reading charities and St Michael & All Angels Church

The Chiswick Book Festival has awarded £20,000 to charities, following record ticket sales at last year’s Festival which featured Clive Myrie, Jacqueline Wilson, Alan Titchmarsh, Michael Frayn and others.

At a presentation ceremony at St Michael & All Angels Church, it handed cheques for £5,000 to each of its 2023 charities:

  • Read for Good, which helps children to read for pleasure through programmes in schools and hospitals
  • Koestler Arts, the leading prison arts charity, based in W12, which promotes writing, reading and literacy in the criminal justice system
  • Read Easy Ealing, which provides one-to-one reading tuition for local adults who want to learn to read or improve their reading skills
  • St Michael & All Angels Church, which hosts and runs the festival and is itself a charity

Since the Festival started in 2009, it has raised more than £140,000 for reading and community charities, including St Michael & All Angels Church. Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival, said:

“We’re delighted that last year’s record ticket sales and sponsorship have allowed us to make these payments to such worthwhile causes. We’re very grateful to our many authors, venues, volunteers, partners and those who bought tickets, who helped make it possible.”.

Fiona Curran, Chief Executive, Koestler Arts, said:

“Thank you so much. This is really appreciated and will make a huge difference to us. I really enjoyed meeting the other charity members, and we look forward to this year’s festival.”

Catherine Jacquiss, Ealing Team Leader, Read Easy UK, said:

“What lovely news – thanks again for everything, your continued support is much appreciated.”

Barbara Williams, head of fundraising, Read for Good, said:

“This is incredible news; what a fantastic amount to have raised for your charities. Thank you so much for your support, and for inviting us to be a part of this special event.”

‘Pinter On Screen’ season at The Chiswick Cinema

Plans for this year’s Chiswick Book Festival in September 2024 are well underway, says Torin. It will be launched, in partnership with The Chiswick Cinema, with a monthly season of films written by Harold Pinter, who wrote The Caretaker while living in Chiswick. The season will be curated by Pinter’s biographer, Michael Billington, who also lives in Chiswick.

Torin Douglas said:

“Michael and I are delighted to be fulfilling a promise we made to Lady Antonia Fraser, who was married to the playwright for 28 years. At the 2020 Festival, reported by The Observer, Lady Antonia said Harold’s screen work deserved great recognition and she held out hope that it might be celebrated in a season of films for the general public.

“We said we’d try to make it happen and we’re very grateful to Chris Parker, the marketing manager of The Chiswick Cinema, for his support.”

Image above: Chris Parker, Torin Douglas and Michael Billington, Harold Pinter’s biographer

Harold Pinter is one of Chiswick’s two winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and is featured on the Festival’s Writers Trail and Chiswick Timeline of Writers & Books.

The season will begin on Saturday April 27 with a launch screening of the Joseph Losey-Harold Pinter thriller Accident, including a Q&A with Michael Billington and a drinks reception.

Tickets will go on sale on The Chiswick Cinema website. Further films will be screened monthly on Sunday evenings. During the Chiswick Book Festival on Sunday September 15, the film will be The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar