Back in May 2014, Auditory VerbalUK received a phone call that we will all remember for a very long time. It was from the Chairman of The October Club, Mark Pumfrey saying that Auditory VerbalUK had been chosen out of a total of 40 charities to be their charity for 2014. The October Club have raised an incredible amount of money for charities over the past 26 years that has had a transformational effect on their organisation and their work. So we were over the moon to be selected as their 27th charity and knew just how much difference the funds and support could make to helping many more deaf children to listen, speak and achieve.

After several planning meetings with the Committee, the first event took place at Ascot on 25th July – attended by members of The October Club, their guests and 12 representatives of our charity. It was a fantastic day and a unique opportunity to raise valuable funds, make new connections and increase awareness of our work, whilst enjoying a wonderful day of racing and hospitality with our guests.

OctoberClub2014-221On 15th October, the main dinner took place at the Savoy Hotel in London – a gathering of some 400 senior figures in the financial industry. It was an amazing experience to be able to stand up in front of them and tell them about our work; to see them watch a film featuring the children and families on our programme; and to see them give a standing ovation to our young Ambassador James who addressed the audience to tell his story. James is profoundly deaf and learnt to listen and talk at AVUK . He spoke eloquently, with confidence and entertained the guests with his good humour. James shows what is possible, like many of the other graduates of AVUK I have met and got to know over the last year and a half. We all felt very proud and rather emotional watching him on stage.

The October Club responded by raising an incredible £547,000 for our charity to fund work over the next three years. This will support our Pyramid Project and allow us to expand our specialist team and support many more deaf children like James to listen, speak and achieve in the years to come.

We are so grateful to The October Club Committee, their sponsors, their guests for their hard work, generosity and continued support for our charity. We cannot thank you all enough.

Anita Grover