The Reader first came to being around a kitchen table in Merseyside in 1997 – since then we’ve brought Shared Reading into libraries, hospital wards, care homes, prisons, schools, onto ferries, oil rigs and up mountains across the UK and beyond.
Originally apart of University of Liverpool, The Reader became a registered charity in 2008 since when our national and international reach has continued to spread. We now deliver over 300 Shared Reading groups across the UK each week, 53 of which take place across 32 criminal justice settings. Since 2016 we have been delivering Shared Reading groups in every prison in Northern Ireland and nationally we read with offenders and ex-offenders from the North East to Norfolk, Belfast to Broadmoor.
The bulk of our Shared Reading groups take place in community spaces such as libraries and community centres or in health and care settings such as hospitals, care homes, mental health units and addiction recovery centres. As the map of our community groups below demonstrates, we have a prominent presence across the South West, London and in our home region, the North West, where our headquarters are based in Liverpool’s beautiful Calderstones Park.
And Shared Reading has gone international. The Reader works with partner organisations in Australia, Belgium and Denmark.
The Reader at Calderstones
Our Reader family of staff, volunteers, and partners are working hard to bring Shared Reading to every community in the UK and beyond and we’re proud to lead the movement from our home in Liverpool. The Reader have been influential in making Liverpool the UK’s foremost City of Readers, and in 2014 we signed a 125 year lease for Calderstones Mansion House where we’re developing The International Centre for Shared Reading.