Whether working at our headquarters in Liverpool, or in communities across the UK, our people believe in the value of great literature.
Name: Jane Davis, Founder and Director
Bio: Launched The Reader as a magazine in 1997, developing Shared Reading around the same time, with the aim of opening up great literature to people who need it.
A book/poem/play I’d like to share: Depends who you are but almost everyone might enjoy The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban . Failing that – read Pastoralia by George Saunders or Adam Bede by George Eliot
Why I work at The Reader: “Fewer than 1% of the population study English Literature at University…what a waste of ‘the good stuff’! I founded The Reader because I wanted to make it possible for all kinds of people to enjoy the experiences that great writers had provided for me.”
Name: Jemma Guerrier, Director of Development and Communications
Bio: Jemma moved from London to join The Reader in 2016 after 12 years in the voluntary sector. She’s responsible for leading the teams who secure the income required to sustain and grow the Reading Revolution, inspire new partnerships and spread the word about our work and its impact.
A book/poem/play I’d like to share: My favourite book is Little Women which remains as poignant to me now as it did when I was a teenager. It’s timeless and the themes are universal, from friendships to family, gender to bereavement.
Why I work at The Reader: The ambition – we are ambitious for Shared Reading because we know it changes lives and is so accessible. We’ve accomplished a lot but there is so much more to do. The impact and future potential drives me here, as does a hefty challenge and the constant reminder that I have so much literature to explore!
Name: Anton Clarke, Director of Social Enterprise
Bio: Launching and leading social enterprises at The Reader at Calderstones, including a new events business, plus IT and site facilities.
A book/poem/play I’d like to share: Book – Candide by Voltaire
Why I work at The Reader: Life is about finding purpose. Having worked many jobs in many sectors, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to work at The Reader back in 2014. Since then, I’ve found that the work that we do as an organisation – both locally and further afield – has given me the purpose and motivation to be my best self.
Name: Sarah Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Finance
Bio: Sarah joined us in 2016 to lead on financial strategy, risk and governance after a career in accountancy which started at PwC.
A book/poem/play I’d like to share: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
Why I work at The Reader: “To make a difference.”
Name: Zoe Gilling, Director of People and Shared Reading Programmes
Bio: Zoe came to The Reader after a 15 year career in HE. She is responsible for making sure our staff and volunteers are well supported and that our UK wide Shared Reading provision is run well and available to those who need it most.
A book/poem/play I’d like to share: If you haven’t read it yet, read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Unputdownable once you start reading, something for everyone to identify with: love, family, marriage, betrayal, tragedy, hypocrisy to name but a few!
Why I work at The Reader: “My role at The Reader continually challenges me, provides me with meaningful connections with lots of different types of people, and a chance to read with others on a regular basis.”
The Reader is a charitable social enterprise with a board of trustees who oversee operations, and work in the interests of the charity and our beneficiaries. In 2014, The Reader created the Calderstones CIC to manage the business interests of the social enterprises at The Reader at Calderstones.
This board is comprised of individuals from academia, health, policy, community, business and the arts organisations, drawn from across the UK. It meets four times a year.
Calderstones CIC’s Board of Directors
The Calderstones CIC oversees any non-primary purpose activity – including The Reader Ice Cream Parlour and The Reader Café. These, and future social enterprises, help to build a community in the park, create jobs and support The Reader’s primary purpose activity, as all profits are gifted back to the charity.
The board meets four times a year and is made up of Jane Davis, Sarah Fletcher, Kathy Anstey and Pranav Sood.