Stepping into a challenge

6th May 2022 | Blog

Here at Book Aid International, we rely solely on donations from our amazing supporters to send books around the world to the people who need them. Some of our supporters choose to go a step further and take on a challenge to fundraise for our vital work. All of the support we receive is truly appreciated, we couldn’t do it without you!

One such supporter is Caroline. Caroline is embarking on a year-long walking challenge to raise money to send life-changing books. We caught up with her to find out a bit more about her challenge, her inspiration and why she believes in the power of books.

Hi Caroline, thanks so much for taking on this huge challenge in aid of our work! We’d love for you to tell us a little bit about yourself and the challenge you have decided to embark on.

My name is Caroline and I am a 24-year-old British-French dual national. After 20 years of mostly living in France, I moved to the UK to do an MA in Digital Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. 

In life, I enjoy reading, cooking, and organising things. However, the latest addition of ‘things I like to do’ is walking/hiking. 

When walking was the only way to escape my very small university room during lockdown, I started going out for a walk every single day. That was March 2020, and I have not stopped since.

Because I enjoy walking, I have decided to use my steps to fundraise money for charity. My objective is to walk more than 1,500km this year (1 January-31 December 2022), which should be easily achievable, fingers crossed. If it’s more, even better. I am aiming to fundraise as much as possible, although I would like to reach at least £750, which would mean 50p per km walked.

That sounds great. So why did you choose Book Aid International as your chosen charity?

I have decided to choose Book Aid International as the charity’s mission feels especially close to me. I have always been so lucky to have access to books, and my love of reading really picked up when I was a teenager and gifted a couple of books for Christmas (The Princess Diaries). After graduating with a Publishing MA, I am now working for a publishing company based in Oxford.

What do books mean to you?

They mean escapism, being able to live thousands of lives through awesome characters, but also a wealth of knowledge and visibility on the world.

What is your favourite book?

It changes quite often, but a classic for me is Bridget Jones’ Diary. I’ve loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and since I started preferring non-fiction altogether, I’ve loved Thinking on My Feet.

Caroline walked up Pen y Fan in aid of Book Aid International

Why do you think it’s important for people to have access to books?

As I mentioned earlier, books are gateways to the world – and why publishers are known as gatekeepers of ideas. Reading and access to books keep you informed, entertained, challenged, and moved. 

What outcomes are you hoping for from the challenge?

It is a challenge to myself, so I am hoping to prove to myself that I am totally capable of keeping to a goal and smashing it. But I would also love to raise awareness on the lack of accessibility to books for some people, and therefore the need for more support. I’d like for people to realise their luck of having a book, a bookshelf, or a whole library to turn to. And I’d also hope to challenge people to get up and walk, experiencing the joy of putting one foot in front of the other! 

What do you think is going to be the hardest part of the challenge?

Probably not letting my Fitbit step counter impact the escapism I find in walking. A challenge takes its name for a reason as it encourages you to push yourself: I’d like to find a good balance between challenge and enjoyment.

What are you most looking forward to?

Inspiring people to pick up a book, go out for a walk or support Book Aid International.

What would you say to someone else who is thinking about taking part in a charity challenge?

If you’re passionate about something, you will do it anyway, so why not incorporate a charity challenge to it?

We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Caroline and all of our other inspiring fundraisers. Thank you for choosing to fundraise for Book Aid International. Every £2 you raise helps us to send another new book to someone without.