The story of one of our amazing fundraisers!

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Pamela's mother, Rona, was a Calibre member until 2013, when sadly she passed away. Since then Pamela has regularly raised money for Calibre and is one our many long-term supporters who really do help keep our service up and running for our current members to benefit from. A keen gardener herself, Pamela is a member of a gardening group and with that group she organises visits throughout the Spring and Summer to various gardens in East Kent. As part of her continued efforts to fundraise for Calibre, Pamela makes a small admin charge for each person that joins the trip and the whole group have kindly agreed that this money can be donated to us. During 2020, when almost all the visits had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, several members of the group insisted on making a donation in lieu of the charges they would have paid.

As well as organising garden visits, Pamela also does an increasing amount of her shopping on-line and has linked Calibre to Easy Fundraising and AmazonSmile so that if she buys from participating on-line retailers, Calibre receives a small donation. The amounts may be tiny but over time can really add up and at no cost to the shopper!

Here at Calibre we are hugely grateful to all of our supporters. So we wanted to take this opportunity to thank Pamela and detail a little of her and her mother's story (below).

A photo of Pamela's beautiful garden
Pamela's beautifully cared for garden.  The pinkflowers on the left are an Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) which her mother, Rona, particularly liked growing just in front of where they used to sit for tea– this year (2020) the very first flower opened on 2nd May, Rona's birthday.

Pamela first became aware of Calibre in 2002 through her mother, Rona.  Her father had died very suddenly in the March of that year and two months later her mother was due to celebrate her 80th birthday. Within weeks of her husband’s death Rona almost completely lost the sight in her ‘good eye’ following a bleed into the eye.  Her mother’s other eye was already severely compromised following a serious attack of shingles in the eye when she was just 30 years old.  

Her mother, Rona,was a keen seamstress and craftsperson, an avid reader of a daily newspaper and someone who was usually found helping other people; in a nutshell she was always busy!  The loss of sight therefore had a huge impact on her daily life.

Rona was a great reader of selected biographies and novels, warming to some of the readers and making book selections from other books that they had narrated. She soon came to love receiving her books through the post, especially relying on the company of books over the weekends when she rarely saw anyone. In 2003, Rona moved to be near Pamela and she continued receiving and listening to the audiobooks until the end of the decade. Although she had moved closer to her daughter, Rona was able to retain her independence in her flat and died at her home in March 2013.  

When Rona died, Pamela decided that Calibre was the charity she wanted to link to her mother’s funeral. The donations she made from her legacy in Rona’s memory were used to sponsor a new book. Wanting to help further, Pamela also set up a direct debit for an annual donation. A while later, upon reviewing her own finances, Pamela updated her own Will and kindly decided to include Calibre as one of the beneficiaries.

Pamela says: I have always been so very grateful for the support that Calibre gave to my mother. The books were clearly a lifeline when she was suddenly robbed of her sight at a time of significant personal loss and through the subsequent decade. I could so empathise with her as I am someone who loves to read and who also, like her, relies on eyesight for all the things that give me pleasure. I know that becoming involved in the lives of people in the books – real or imagined –made a huge difference to her life and for that reason I am keen to help sustain this lifeline for other people.  

 

We want to say to Pamela and all the members of the gardening group who so kindly donate to us each year, a very big thank you! Your donations are appreciated by us and all our members who benefit from them.