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Legacy Pledgers

Here Calibre supporters who have remembered us in their will explain the motivations that prompted their generosity.

Derry Dinkin

Since 1988, volunteer reader Derry Dinkin has recorded well over 100 books for Calibre. Her voice will be very familiar to many members, which she admits sounds much younger than her 64 years!

“I really enjoy my role” she says. “Especially recording non-fiction titles, which can be so interesting.”

Derry originally trained at drama school and worked as an actress and voice-over artist, before volunteering as a reader. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for services to the community, in which her work for blind people played a big part.

She has a close affection for the work of Calibre and gains real satisfaction from knowing that her involvement brings visually impaired people the same opportunities to learn, listen and enjoy as those who have their sight.

At home, Derry has a box of thank you letters from Calibre members who have enjoyed her recordings. “From the letters I receive, I know the difference Calibre makes to people’s lives” she says. “They are just so happy to have access to books again.”

“That’s why I am going to remember Calibre in my will, as I know the impact of its work and the benefits it brings. There will always be people with sight loss and so Calibre’s service will continue to be needed. This is a very important charity that we should not forget, especially in an age of spending cuts.”

“I hope other people will want to join me in supporting Calibre with a gift in their will.”

Calibre Members

Mrs Larksman (88yrs) joined Calibre in 2001. She started to develop macular degeneration about 15 years ago and has now completely lost her sight. Mrs Larksman heard about Calibre from her local library. "Reading has always been very important to me" she said. "During my 10 years of membership I have moved from cassettes to MP3 CDs and I am now an enthsiastic user of USB memory sticks. I am a member of Marlow book group and enjoy the monthly meetings to discuss the chosen book. I hope that by leaving a legacy to Calibre others will be able to enjoy the service as much as I have."

Mr and Mrs Cohn are both Calibre members.
Mr Cohn was blinded as a schoolboy during the political turmoil in Germany in the 1930's. He worked for many years as a Chartered Physiotherapist, retiring at 84! Mrs Cohn has been blind for 10 years as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa. Mr and Mrs Cohn don't listen to books together as they have very different tastes. They have set up their own individual booklists.

Mrs Cohn explained that they have pledged a legacy to Calibre as they have both made very good use of Calibre over many years. Whilst Calibre's wonderful service has been free to them, they are aware just how much it costs to provide them with books. "We feel that everyone who can should support Calibre by leaving money in their will so that others may enjoy the service."

Maureen Marshall

Maureen Marshall has been a Calibre reader since 1997 when she first read The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl. Having read 60 books for Calibre, one of the most exciting things about volunteering she says is never knowing what book she will be reading next. However, as professional actress she enjoys the challenge of a new role.

Maureen trained at Webber Douglas drama school before joining a weekly repertory company. This involved learning one play during the day while performing another a night. She has performed on many stages across the country and is helping in her local theatre.

Maureen, who says “she loves words”, has received many letters of thanks for her recordings from Calibre members. This has ranged from notes on toothpaste packets from grateful listeners to correspondence from Joan Bright Astley, the author of Inner Circle (Catalogue no.5234) for the interpretation of her work about Winston Churchill’s War Office.

Maureen has decided to leave a legacy to Calibre in her will. Every couple of years the charity holds a party for our readers who are taken on a tour of the building. Walking around and meeting staff and volunteers, Maureen says she is very impressed with efficiency of Calibre and how we use our income to provide a much valued service.


Martin Findlay

Martin Findlay, who has recently retired as Calibre Audio Library Chairman, has agreed to be a legacy champion. He has firsthand knowledge of how important legacies are to the day to day running of the charity. Martin says: “ Legacies are the life blood of Calibre and one of the troubles of dealing with legacies,  by definition, is they are unpredictable.One year you can be up 50% and the next down by the same amount. They are terribly important and we’ve got to push on the legacy front all the time.

As a Legacy Champion I will do my best to encourage people to think about as they get older as to whether supporting a charity like Calibre isn’t the right thing to do for our long term future.”