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BBC Studioworks donation helps make tactile books for visually impaired children

When you want to skip the skip and make sure your unwanted items find a new home, give Event Cycle a call! That's just what the team at BBC Studioworks did after various production and office items were no longer needed.

They are a commercial subsidiary of the BBC, providing studios and post production services to all the major TV broadcasters and production companies, with their London facilities home to some of the nation’s most watched and loved television shows, including The Graham Norton Show, Saturday Night Takeaway, The Jonathan Ross Show and The Last Leg to name an impressive few…

They offer world-class studio and post production spaces, equip them with the right technology and engage the most dedicated and talented people in the industry.

The BBC Studioworks bring shows to life and we’re glad that their unwanted items have got a new life helping a number of charities!

Clear vision by name and nature

The Clear Vision Project is a postal lending library of children’s books designed to be shared by visually impaired and sighted children and adults, based in London.

There are over 14,000 braille, print and picture books in their collection, catering for children from birth until they’re independent readers. They have everything a young reader could want from The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Peppa Pig to Katie Morag, Dick King-Smith and books about space.

Lots of new ClearVision books are added each month to make sure the collection is up-to-date and children with a visual impairment can enjoy the same titles as their sighted friends.

The molton cloth material that the charity received will be given to volunteers, who will use it to make special fabric books with tactile pictures for blind children to use. The material itself will be used as padding between the cotton page top (with the tactile picture on it) and some special stiffener which keeps the pages flat as the children explore them, so it won’t actually be visible in the finished books, but it will be very useful indeed.

Many of the volunteers who make these books for us kindly donate materials from their own collections, but obviously that’s not an option for everyone, so we have to supply materials whenever requested. Padding is expensive, but necessary so the books work properly. This will be a real help for us.”

These pictures are just a couple of examples of the tactile books that the Clear Vision Project have created. What a fantastic use for this material to be repurposed as!

You can help too as the charity is always looking for support with making tactile books.

Feel free to take a seat

Two more charities to benefit from this donation are Daniel’s Den, a network of local parent and toddler groups and other activities based in North London and Trinity Homeless Shelter, who have been providing day services and supported housing in Hillingdon and Slough for over 12 years.

The team at Daniel's Den were very happy with their donation of an assortment of chairs, saying that they are very keen on reusing and recycling items and can always use foldable chairs!

Linda Concannon, who has been involved with Daniel's Den for over 17 years advised that the chairs will be put to good use for outdoor events as well as at their recycled allotment project; Sowing Seeds Saturday at their allotment in Chalkhill.

Participants have the chance to have some muddy fun, plant something and enjoy a little outdoor activity, as well as take the weight off and enjoy the space on a recently donated chair…

Trinity Homeless Shelter helps those who have experienced homelessness, supporting those recently housed and those who have settled in the UK following war (Ukraine and Afghan as examples). The chairs they received will be split between their homeless shelters and their 2 furniture’s stores, with all money raised going to helping those who are homeless in the borough.

Donation hits the right note for the Scherzo Ensemble

Matthew O’Keefe is the Director of Scherzo Ensemble, which he founded in 2015 whilst studying music at King’s College London. He is based in South London and works as a singer, conductor, producer, arranger and composer.

After receiving the BBC Studioworks donation alert, Matthew got in touch to secure a roll of the black molton cloth, for which he already had a use in mind.

Naturally, we wanted to know more…

I'm going to use the black cotton for blacking and skirting at the Longhope Opera”, he told us.

The Longhope Opera is a delightful annual event held on the Longhope Estate in Newton Valence, Hampshire. Guests take walks around the grounds and peruse the various events on offer before they are entertained with a comic opera from Scherzo Ensemble and enjoy a picnic dinner overlooking the South Downs.

To deliver Longhope Opera, the Scherzo Ensemble charity assembles an entire company (performers, creatives, technical staff and management) of emerging professionals. The central aim is to help young practitioners gain professional experience and build confidence, with the associated aims of fostering deeper respect and understanding between theatrical departments.

These operas at Longhope have become the centre-piece of their annual professional development programme for young artists and this year on the 1st and 2nd of July they will present Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Wood works

Connected with the international Men’s Shed movement, Maxilla Men’s Shed is a community workshop and maker space with a focus on tackling social isolation, funded by the NHS North Kensington Recovery Programme.

As part of this donation, the BBC team had various pieces of planed wood as well as French braces available and having worked with Men's Sheds up and down the UK, the Event Cycle team were confident that these would be put to good use.

Rasha El-Sady, Programme Manager Maxilla Men's Shed said,

“...The donated wood will go towards aiding participants with the practical projects and hobbies undertaken at the weekly Tinkering sessions at the Maxilla Men's Shed community workshop space…”

The Tinkering sessions are a year-long programme of weekly sessions designed to create a welcoming and engaging workspace, aiding participants to work on practical projects, follow hobbies, explore existing or newly learnt skills, share skills and enjoy the benefits of socialising and meeting others.

How great is that?!

We’re helping the events industry work towards a no-waste world, want to find out how? Get in touch


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