A History of A Charity in Twenty Objects - #5

#5. Guy Fox Baseball Cap (circa 2002)
This tired old baseball cap doesn't look like much – especially after years of wear – but it helped inspire a GREAT BIG LESSON for us…. in listening.

One day in early 2002, Kourtney was at the John Harvard Library, wearing this cap (must’ve been a Bad Hair Day). She glanced up from her research to find a young boy standing by the table.

He asked, "You know about Guy Fox?"

Amazed that HE knew about Guy Fox, she could only manage a tacit nod.

He continued, "We get his magazines at school, but I can't read them ‘cause I have a…uh… I struggle… with my reading."

“Maybe I can do something about that,” she responded.
Satisfied with that, he disappeared.


That conversation got us thinking: What could we do for children who struggled to read our magazines? How could we make our work more accessible?

Time to do some learning!

We contacted the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the British Dyslexia Association who offered us useful resources and advice on creating accessible materials. We read books; we went on a course. We gave it a lot of thought.

In the end, we decided to produce an audio version of all our magazines. This, of course, meant we had to LEARN how to record, edit and produce an audio version of all our magazines.

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: The learning curve has been steep – and endless!

Ultimately, with the help of an 'Awards for All' Lottery Grant and a small army of volunteers, we created and distributed a ‘History Rocks’ audio CD. It didn’t win any Grammys, that’s for sure, but it was a fun and funny re-imagining of the cartoons in our magazine. And it was the next giant step in our journey – expanding our creative capacity and reaching new audiences.

All of that started with this baseball cap.

Too often in life, we celebrate the notion that great leadership starts with a vision. Struck, like Paul on the road to Damascus, a visionary sees the goal in the distance and then valiantly leads
followers toward it.

We beg to differ. What we’ve learned at Guy Fox is, a vision actually starts – and grows – thanks to BIG EARS. Listening.

That’s how it’s been for us. The more we’ve listened, the more we’ve learned, and the more we’ve grown. The 'History Rocks' CD was our first lesson in listening and we were sure there'd be more. But even we would have never imagined the growth spurt that was about to happen.

Hold onto your hat.


2020 marks the 20th birthday of Guy Fox History Project, and we are celebrating throughout the year in lots of different ways. CLICK HERE to support our '2020 Vision' fundraising campaign.