What we do
Since 2008, The Reader has pioneered the use of Shared Reading to improve wellbeing, reduce social isolation and build stronger, more supportive communities across the UK and beyond. We inspire and support people to read great literature aloud together in friendly and welcoming weekly groups where individuals can share their thoughts and form personal connections with the literature and with each other. This deceptively simple, yet powerful model is highly replicable and group members report amazing personal journeys.
Evaluation and independent research shows that Shared Reading is an effective non-medical intervention delivering a range of health and social outcomes. We are commissioned to read with people of all ages and backgrounds in hospitals, prisons, care homes, schools and community settings, such as libraries and cafés. Groups have been described as ‘community glue’, improving emotional wellbeing and social connectivity.
Our ambition is that Shared Reading will become part of the fabric of life so that everyone, whoever they are, wherever they are, can access a group. We are building a movement of readers, by recruiting and training volunteers to bring Shared Reading into their local communities. This model is creating double the impact, improving the wellbeing of both volunteers and group members. Cross-sector collaboration is also key, with a range of public and voluntary sector organisations working together to host, refer to and commission Shared Reading groups.