Aylesbury-based charity receives major boost confirming updated deal with international publisher

An Aylesbury-based charity has announced a new agreement with the UK branch of an international publisher.

By James Lowson
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 10:57 am

Calibre Audio based in Weston Turville has completed a deal with Hachette UK with the publisher sending over 10,000 audio books to the charity.

This is an extension of an existing agreement between the company launched in France and the only national free audio book service.

The two organisations have been collaborating since 2014, this updated contract means Calibre members can access over 10,000 Hachette UK titles.

Richard Balkwill, was recently rewarded for his volunteer work with the charity, photo by Ian Jamieson

This includes Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, and audiobooks by authors such as Elly Griffiths, Cressida Cowell, Ian Rankin, and Mark Billingham.

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They are available via all methods, members can access the books by streaming, downloading, or copying them onto a memory stick.

Calibre Audio’s service is available for free for anyone who has a print disability.

Its 17,000 members have a range of impairments that make reading and understanding text difficult, including a visual or cognitive impairment, learning disabilities such as dyslexia, and physical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Parkinson's, and arthritis.

The charity delivers 1,700 books per day, and has members on its service aged between 5 and 105, who can now listen to books for stimulation, companionship, education or simply escape.

Anthony Kemp, CEO of Calibre Audio, said: "With Calibre’s widening membership and embracement of recent technological advancements, this is the perfect time to address how we can best serve our members, and we are thrilled Hachette UK is giving them access to this incredible pool of books and authors in whichever format works for them.”

Calibre Audio has high profile support with legendary actor Dame Judi Dench joining the team as a patron last November.

She famously suffers from an age related condition which affects her ability to read making her the perfect partner for the charity.

Jasmine Palmer, co-chair of the Hachette UK Accessibility Network, added: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Calibre Audio to allow its members to access more of our audio offering.

"Working with the Hachette UK Accessibility Network, Calibre Audio is helping us to reach a wider audience and to make it easier for everyone to access our content.”