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Reader Stories

Reader Stories

Our shared reading groups reach hundreds of people each week, from many different backgrounds, ages and walks of life. For all, a connection is provided through the reading and sharing of great literature with others. For many, the connection goes much deeper, offering a boost to confidence, strengthened social bonds, a chance to start again and even a vital lifeline.

Out of sharing the stories of great authors, our Readers own varied and personal stories have emerged - a testament to the power of literature. Read just some of their stories below.

Matthew's Reader Story, Brompton Library

"Book Break has had a massive impact on my life"

Anne's Reader Story, Get Into Reading at Rubens House

"Mondays have taken on a completely new aspect. I’ve got something to look forward to now, for the first time in years"

Reader Stories: Wirral Dementia Care Homes

“I like to read them again, you have to, it helps my head. You see what I mean.”

Reader Stories: Halton and Manchester Care Homes

"My Mum loves it! She is usually very quiet and doesn’t tend to interact with the other residents – this is the first time I’ve seen her offer her opinions in a group, and really engage with something instead of just sitting in front of the telly"

Peter's Reader Story, Toxteth Library

"This group has been a lifeline for me"

Nadia's Reader Story, Toxteth Library

"This group is possibly one of the few interactions she has during the week, and more importantly value her for who she is"

Reader Stories: Greater Manchester Probation Trust

"This is as ‘normal’ as life can be while we’re here. I look forward to it every week. It takes me to places.”

M's Reader Story, Greater Manchester Probation Trust

"I could see it on his face – just how much he’s enjoying it and into it.”

H's Reader Story, St Mungo's Learning Community, Glasgow

"Each week he remembers exactly where we have left off and sits smiling for an hour as we continue with the story."

Reader Stories: Hope Readers

"Coming to the reading group, and reading this book, has made me remember that I do really enjoy reading – and how much fun it is to find a story you can get lost in"

W's Reader Story

"His reading is getting better and better, and his vocabulary is widening – but what is more important in our sessions is his enjoyment of the book. W is expressing more and more feeling and thought through the book"

P's Reader Story

"There was a real sense of achievement when we had finished each story, and he would love deciding which one to read the next week"

Lindsay's Reader Story, Tesco

"This isn’t something I would have imagined myself doing, and yet now, it’s become a part of my job that I look forward to and feel incredibly passionate about"

Jenny and baby Poppy's Reader Story, Children's Centre, Liverpool

"When I do the song with her it is as if I've hypnotised her - she loves listening to me and watching me do the actions"

Colin's Reader Story, Time for a Cuppa, Liverpool

"This is good and we've got all that from this little story!'

Gemma and baby Elisha Mae's Reader Story, Forum Housing

"From the reading aloud I am getting the confidence I need for my baby"

Myfanwy's Reader Story, Forum Housing

"I have found that my tastes have expanded and my confidence in reading aloud has changed for the better"

Jane's Reader Story, Kensington and Chelsea

"I soon realised that books could be a life boat and an amazing safe environment"

Reader Stories: Plymouth MIND

"I have come to learn the power of words in our lives – and the power of silences. They go deep into our psyche"

Reader Story: HMP Low Newton

"I really like these poems because they’re real. They are real life"

D's Reader Story, Belfast

"I look forward to this… to coming here every week"

Derek's Reader Story, Cornwall

"Because it’s important, I feel, there’s so much enjoyment there – you learn so much from other people"

Shirley's Reader Story, Hill View

"It was such a wonderful experience, hearing Shirley read the words of her younger self aloud to her peers, and the reaction of members of the group was very special"

Project Story: John Denmark Unit, Manchester

Project Story: Mersey Care Reads

Project Story: Devon Library Memory Groups and Feel Better With a Book

Project Story: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries

Project Story: Toxteth Library

Project Story: Everton Family Project

Project Story: Trust The Process, Wirral

Project Story: Forum Housing

Project Story: Hydebank Wood, Belfast

"It has opened doors to new possibilities and allows these women to experience a sense of empowerment for the first time in their lives"

Project Story: Northwest Mental Health Reader in Residencies

Project Story: Shared reading in Glasgow

Project Story: Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust

T's Reader Story

"I was on the verge of suicide last year and now I’m a completely different person. If you told me this time last year “you’ll be reading poems and enjoying it” I would have said “stop talking crap!” But I love the poems now"

John's Reader Story

"The residents have expressed their thanks on numerous occasions and have even said the reading session is the highlight of the week"

Reader Story: HMP Frankland

"The reading group draws me because of its power to transport me outside the confines of my everyday world."

Read to Lead Reader Stories

"This helped me to focus on what is important"

Yeovil Library Memory Group

One member of the group was accompanying his wife for the first time, and surprised both of them by expressing his understanding of the poem. She said, ‘Fifty years married, and I’ve learnt something new about my husband this afternoon.'

Project Story: HMP Reading YOI

"There’s nowhere else in jail that I can be so, sort of, myself, because it wouldn’t go down too well."

Project Stories: Prospect Park Hospital and Wokingham Library

"Is this group on every morning?" ‘’If only it was!’’

Reader Stories: Prospect Park Hospital

"‘You’ve got me back into reading, you have. I hadn’t read a book for 50 years!"

Reader Stories: Eastham Library

'Carers say how much the sessions mean to all of them and how they look forward to coming to the reading group'

Reader Story: A's Story, Seacombe Library

‘What advice would you give her?’ I asked. ‘To move forward slowly’.

Reader Story: M & N's Story, Eastham Library

"I got ‘M’ to read a few lines, then half a page, until finally he read a whole page. His face was radiant."

Reader Story: Summer Fields Care Home

"The end of the poem was followed by laughs and smiles all around as the members seemed to enjoy it."

Reader Story: G's Story, The Lauries Centre

"Coming here keeps me going week to week."

A's Reader Story, HMP Frankland

"I have learnt more of what it is to be a human being."

Adam's Reader Story

"This was the first time they could ever remember seeing Adam smile for long periods and looking so content; all through his love and care for the characters in the story"

Jennifer's Reader Story, Barnet Volunteering

"The poems unlocked something inside them like nothing else can."

Reader Stories: Leicestershire Libraries Project

"It makes you think...when I'm here I don't think of anything else."

Reader Stories: Barnet Volunteers

"Helping those with dementia respond, and facilitating groups to get conversation going, are both challenging but very satisfying."

Julie & Betty's Reader Story

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The Reader Calderstones Mansion House Calderstones Park Liverpool L18 3JB

Email: info@thereader.org.uk

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Registered charity number: 1126806 Registered company number: 0660 7389

If you have any suggestions on how we can enhance The Reader experience for you, please get in touch by filling out our quick form. Thank you.