United Way “Breaking Barriers”
November 15, 2017––Over 110 people attended United Way UK’s “Breaking Barriers” event at the RSA in support of the United Way Reading Oasis. The Reading Oasis provides disadvantaged primary school-aged children with thousands of brand new books, comfortable and colourful furniture, and innovative resources to help them learn to love reading.
The evening’s programme included a performance by celebrated American pianist Gwendolyn Mok, playing a selection of works featured on her latest CD “Legacy: The Spirit of Beethoven” and teaching “Breaking Barriers” guests about the fascinating history behind each piece.
The Reading Oasis
Following Ms Mok’s elegant performance, Emmy-nominated producer and United Way UK board member Bill O’Dowd spoke on the crucial importance of the Reading Oasis and how putting books into the hands of disadvantaged children and encouraging them to learn to love reading can secure a brighter, more successful future for them.
“The Reading Oasis is committed to changing the lives of children through the power of books,” said Hannah Bellamy, co-CEO of United Way UK. “We are making a difference every day, and we are grateful for the support that allows us to bring this important resource to the children of Islington.”
“Breaking Barriers” was United Way UK’s first event, successfully raising enough funds to give four disadvantaged schools in Islington United Way Reading Oases and changing the story for more than 1,200 children. Thank you to everyone who attended and to everyone who kindly donated.
In the words of 9 year-old Lydia, ‘I thank you to the bottom of my heart for giving me and my school an enormous range of books. You have helped develop hundreds of children’s brains. I love reading so much its nearly unexplainable how much I love reading. Reading is a way to make me more wiser and now you give our school a variety of books any of us could be Einstein! The adventures you could go on are unlimited it’s amazing.’
Help more children
United Way thanks all our generous supporters, including Gary von Lehmden, Bill O’Dowd, and Gwendolyn Mok.