Launch of the UK's first braille advent calendar

A young entrepreneur has announced the launch of a world-first charitable braille advent calendar for people with sight loss.

Hand feeling braille on advent calendar

The first and only braille advent calendar in the UK has been developed in collaboration with RNIB as part of Advent of Change’s range of charitable products, which will be stocked in John Lewis & Partners online this Christmas.

Last year, the celebrity-endorsed social enterprise, Advent of Change launched the first charity advent calendar where, instead of receiving something each day, you give to someone in need – 24 donations, to 24 incredible charities.

By the end of 2018, Advent of Change had raised £100,000 for its 24 chosen charities, becoming a best-seller for John Lewis and even receiving an award from the Prime Minister in recognition of outstanding contribution to charitable causes.

This year, Advent of Change has tripled the number of charities it will be supporting and is expanding its reach to 300 Waitrose stores nationwide, as well as expanding its range of products - quickly becoming the go-to choice for ethical consumers.

Their 2019 range includes a pioneering new braille version of the classic advent calendar, created in collaboration with the RNIB, who have not only helped to develop the product but also supplied the braille itself.

The braille edition spans across 24 embossed pages, each featuring raised perforations which detail exactly what the recipient has given – from clearing plastic from UK shores, to offering shelter to a homeless person, and even helping to provide life-changing medicine for a sick child.

The braille advent calendar was created by Advent of Change founder, 27-year old Kristina Salceanu from Warwickshire, to ensure her innovative advent calendar range was accessible to all.

Kristina said, “Advent of Change is, and always will be, a not-for-profit enterprise designed to encourage people to give a little something back, so it’s important to us that we are always as inclusive as possible.

When developing the 2019 range, I realised there was a group of people who were not able to enjoy our products at all, and so we began developing the braille edition so nobody need be excluded from discovering where their donation has gone each day, and knowing the difference they have made.

It quickly came to light that there were no other braille advent calendars on the market, which was a huge surprise, and made it even more important that we were able to bring this to life for the blind community. Creating a brand-new product is difficult however, and that’s why we’re so grateful to have had the support and expertise of the RNIB - together, I hope we’ve created a product which will make a real positive difference.’

Dan Cooper, Partner and Head Christmas Buyer at John Lewis & Partners, said: “In my role, I get to see some really interesting and exciting new products, but Advent of Change and the braille advent calendar really stood out to me as an incredibly innovative way of giving back during the festive season.

“The original calendar was a huge success with our customers last year, so we’re really excited to announce new additions to the collection this year, including a year-round wall calendar and one for children.”

More information

The braille advent calendar is available to buy for £29.95  from Advent of Change or from John Lewis & Partners.