The Reader is a national charity which is working to bring the human benefits of sharing literature to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. We bring people together in small groups, to read good quality literature aloud and stop every so often to talk about what we have read. We would define ‘good quality literature’ as writing which captures and gives language to some of the deepest area of human experience, in its joys, challenges and complexities. Trained group leaders take responsibility for all reading aloud, in case members do not have reading skills themselves, or simply wish to sit back and listen that day. The model is based around an ethos of acceptance and kindness, meaning that no one is ever put on the spot, or expected to contribute. We are not an educational programme or literacy support, but rather celebrate the personal responses of the people we read with and the connections made during sessions we run. We work in nurseries, schools, mental health inpatient wards, prisons, community centres and care homes, to name a few settings. In a piece recent research carried out by our partners at the University of Liverpool, one group member had this to say about their experience of Shared Reading:
“I’m not really a book person. I’m the person who’d probably go to the end or just get distracted or give up, or it’s boring, you know, I don’t take the time to sort of get involved. But now I think: really is this what books can do? I go into it. It is really bringing me alive. It is making me awaken…”
Group-member , Drug and Alcohol Addiction Centre
The Reader are incredibly excited at the prospect of partnering with organisations throughout Halton to bring Shared Reading groups and meaningful volunteer and training opportunities to the community. Although Shared Reading North West is a whole population project we’re particularly keen to work with older people:- getting them into Shared Reading groups, but also offering older people free training so that they can run Shared Reading groups themselves.
If you would like to host a Shared Reading group within your organisation or if you’re delivering a project in which you think Shared Reading can be a part of, then please do get in touch. To reiterate we have funding available to offer training for FREE and our on going support package and membership benefits ensure that partner staff and volunteers are well connected and supported.
The sessions all run weekly, are free to attend and there is no need to pre book…simply turn up, sit back and relax!
TUESDAY: Read and Relax- Widnes Library at 10.30am
THURSDAY: Read and Relax- Halton Lea Library at 12noon
THURSDAY: Time for Me- The Box, Runcorn Shopping City at 2pm
For further information please contact Michell Barrett
Community Engagement Coordinator on 0151 729 2200