The Doncaster Book Award Committee would like to advise our participants that we are currently undergoing a period of re-structure. As a consequence, we have reluctantly decided to temporarily suspend our main reading promotion activities from September 2019. We plan to re-launch again in 2020.
Several factors have combined to bring about this decision. One major issue is the difficulty we have faced in obtaining sufficient funding in these challenging times. As a Not-for Profit Social Enterprise Company, the DBA receives no public money and is entirely dependent upon grant funding. In order to attract potential Funders, we must be able to evidence engagement from our users. Numbers attending our events have remained consistently high, as have the number of entries to our competitions. However, in the last two years the number of reviews/comments submitted to our website, and the number of votes we have received, have both dropped sharply. This evidence is essential in order for us to prove that children are reading and engaging with the books, and that we are successfully meeting our main objective of promoting reading for pleasure. We attempted to address this drop via a survey of participating schools to determine how they engaged with the award. However,although the replies we received were overwhelmingly positive, the number of responses submitted was disappointing.
The above factors, combined with some challenging personal issues within the small team of unpaid volunteers who run the DBA, have led us to conclude that we have no option other than to temporarily suspend our activities. We will now spend time revising operational strategies, seeking new funding opportunities and possibly developing new working partnerships. Our Schools and Home Educators Coordinator will be in touch in the event that we are able to re-start any form of reading promotion activity.
The Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the last 15 years. The enthusiasm of our readers has made all the hard work worthwhile and we hope to be seeing you again very soon.