Charity thanks trade for support - but demands on the welfare budget are high
The rooftop restaurant at Hachette's Carmelite House HQ was the setting last night for the annual BTBS (Book Trade Charity) reception. Guests were welcomed by Ursula Mackenzie, Book Trade Charity president, who thanked everyone for their support during the past year. However, despite regular donations from the likes of Hachette, the Booksellers Association, Penguin Random House, Old Possum's Practical Trust, Simon & Schuster, Severn House, HarperCollins, Profile and the Association of Authors' Agents, demand on the welfare grant budget was as always running ahead of income. So far this year, BTBS has awarded 193 grants, worth over £200,000, considerably up on last year's figures.
MacKenzie also thanked the four 2018 London Marathon runners - Elise Burnes, Richard Elsley, Katie McCallum and Toby Faber - who between them raised a terrific £11,000. Six runners are already signed up for the 2019 event - Tallulah Young, Alex Catton, Tom Catton, Helen Harradine, Dan Scriven and Pimms Banwaite - but there are still two free places if anyone is feeling energetic!
The relatively new Bookbinders' Cottages at Whetstone are now providing housing at affordable rents for new entrants to the book trade. One of the first residents, Lildh Kendrick, who is now working for Bloomsbury, spoke eloquently about how both her interview and her job had been made possible by grants and accommodation provided by the charity - and how living with others just starting their careers, as well as those who are coming to the end of them, made for a special community.
Guests at the party also included Jonathan Nowell, Trevor Goul-Wheeker, Kate Pocock, Brigid Macleod, Diane Spivey, John Parke, Jo Howard, Amanda Ridout, Bill Samuel, and Vivienne Wordley.
Photo from left: David Young, previous BTBS president; Nigel Batt, ex BTBS finance director; Ursula Mackenzie, BTBS president