Welcome to The Reader

We are the pioneers of Shared Reading – a simple idea that changes lives. 

By bringing people together to read great literature aloud we are improving well-being, reducing social isolation and building stronger communities across the UK and beyond. 

We want to make Shared Reading so widespread that everyone, whoever they are, wherever they are, can access one of our groups. To make that possible we’re building a movement of Readers. Could you be part of the story? 

“You need it, you just don’t know you need it”
Shared Reading group member

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Volunteer – We need you!


Do you enjoy discovering and sharing great stories and poems? Love meeting new people? Want to make a difference in your local community?

If so, Shared Reading could be just the thing for you.

And you could be just the person for us.


Why Volunteer?

    • New skills, new challenges
    • A real sense of achievement
    • Read more, read differently
    • Meet new people
    • Make a difference in your local community

• 95% of volunteers feel more connected to other people*
• 97% of volunteers gain a sense of achievement.*

We’re building a movement of volunteers to bring Shared Reading to communities across the UK so that everyone, whoever they are, wherever they are, can find a group near them. To make this happen WE NEED YOUR HELP!

How can you get involved?

Avg 4 hours p/w
Commitment: Flexible, hands-on
Commitment: Flexible, light touch
“The Reader is the best organisation I have ever belonged to, as a group member and a volunteer”

Read Joyce’s Story

“As a volunteer for The Reader, you don’t feel like you’re working for them – you’re working with them”

Read Helen’s Story

” I’ve been telling everyone about Shared Reading and I don’t go anywhere without a few flyers in my bag to pass on”
Read John’s Story
Not quite sure how you can help? Pop your details in the form below and let’s have a chat.
There’s lots of ways to get involved, whether it’s reading on a hospital ward, setting up a group in a care home, or telling someone about Shared Reading in their local library – you can be part of the story!




The Reader will use the data you provide to contact you about relevant volunteering opportunities in your area and to understand how people find out volunteering with us (‘legitimate interests’). We’ll only keep your personal data for as long as you want to be contacted by us. All of our email communications will give you the opportunity to unsubscribe from our mailing lists. If you’re still on our mailing list after two years we’ll get back in contact to check you’re still happy to hear from us. We will not sell or pass on your details to any third parties. If you have any queries please contact The Reader’s Data Compliance Manager using the contact details at the bottom of this page. You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office if you are unhappy with our response. The data we collect is stored securely in line with the Data Protection Act 1998, GDPR and The Reader’s Data Protection Policy, which is available on request. All queries should be directed to: The Data Compliance Manager, The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park, Liverpool, L18 3JB Tel: 0151 729 2200 Email: data@thereader.org.uk You must be be aged over 13 to submit your data.

*out of 39 respondents, September 2016 – February 2017

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Become a friend

Support The Reader’s charitable work and access exclusive membership benefits.

The Reader is a registered charity – support from our family of Friends directly helps us spark personal and social change, by bringing people together and books to life.

To say thank you, Friends get a special selection of treats:

  • a warm welcome from The Reader, including a tote bag and one of our popular anthologies.
  • invites to special events and exclusive creative projects involving our patrons.
  • 20% discount on all purchases at The Reader Cafe and Ice Cream Parlour.
  • 20% discount on tickets to our imaginative children’s play space, The Storybarn.
  • four digital news updated a year to keep you informed about the impact of your support.
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte
“that in itself is a tremendous thing.”
Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White

Become a friend now

Want to join via direct debit? Return the form below to us via email:

Email friends@thereader.org.uk for more information or call
0151 729 2200.

Individual Friends
£48 per year or £4 per month via Direct Debit
Family Friends
£72 per year or £6 per month via Direct Debit


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“Thank you for all you do for reading and for people”: The Penny Readings 2018 in review

The Reader’s Penny Readings, inspired by Charles Dickens’ journeys around the country sharing his work, was a night our literary friend would have been proud of. More than 400 volunteers, Shared Reading group members and members of the public joined us in St George’s Hall for a variety show quite unlike any other. It was …

Read to Lead: The Reader’s Learning and Quality team return to Uppsala

In 2017, The Reader delivered a training course in Uppsala for twelve librarians working in the city and in nearby Stockholm.  This year, we’ll be returning to the region to work with 18 more participants, including librarians and teachers from adult education associations, who want to bring Shared Reading into their communities. Following the intense three-day …

For comment, interviews or information, please email martingallagher@thereader.org.uk

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