Tony Britton, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.
Listening Books, that great online institution who have Stephen Fry as their patron, have come up with a special offer to help people while away the hours while they are in lockdown.
For those who really can't afford the £20 a year to borrow up to 10 audiobooks a week, they're offering completely free membership instead.
And, unlike some state benefits, there's no means test – just a requirement from you to pop a note into their honesty box to say you can't afford the fee.
Membership and marketing assistant Abigail Jaggers told us: “We do not require any financial proof of this, just a self-declaration that this cost would be a barrier to joining the service.”
Abigail studied a Masters in Literature at Brighton University but admits she had nightmares about vermicious knids after reading Roald Dahl's “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”. In that, Charlie Bucket and his family were found whirling round the Earth at 17,000mph in, yes you've got it, a glass elevator lent to them by Willie Wonka!
Abigail said 9,000 titles were available from Listening Books including bestselling authors such as J. K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Lee Child, Margaret Atwood, Malorie Blackman and Mr Dahl himself.
Audiobooks can be borrowed using an app available for smartphones or tablets or streamed online. National treasure Stephen Fry reads the best-selling ‘Harry Potter' audiobook series.
Abigail added: “We are a national charity providing an audiobook library service for anyone who finds that reading print or holding a book is impacted by an illness, disability, learning difficulty or mental health condition. This includes people with ME/CFS.
“As you are currently promoting ways for people with ME/CFS to keep in good health and wellbeing during self-isolation, I wondered if you would be able to signpost about our service on your social media or website, or via an email newsletter. As we often hear from our members, a voice telling a story can be very comforting and help with feelings of loneliness.”
Their library team are happy to phone and talk anyone through using the service until they are comfortable with it.
Image credits: Wikipedia Commons, 123RF/ArtemOleshko.
The ME Association
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