Commissioned in 2007, this was our first large-scale project in a mental health trust. Two Readers worked closely with psychiatrists, occupational therapists and other trust staff to set up and run reading groups in wards and community settings. As staff were trained and gained confidence in using the GIR model they took over the facilitation of the groups, enabling the Readers to start up groups in other services.
In the first year of the project, 12 groups were started up; currently there are 30, covering the Trust footprint, and operating in all service areas. We have groups in acute wards and Community Mental Health Teams, High, Medium and Low Secure services, drug and alcohol rehab, older peoples’ services including organic (dementia) settings, and specialisms like Brain Injury, the STAR unit (learning disability inpatient) and Psychiatric Intensive Care.
In addition to the weekly reading groups, we have put on a programme of events, including author visits – Brian Keenan, Brian Patten, Sarah Hall were notable guests – and poetry workshops. We have been involved in Mersey Care’s ‘Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change project, providing a group for the ‘Launch Pad’ recovery college.
The Reader magazine offers a mix of new poetry and fiction, classic and neglected works and interviews with leading literary figures.
Join Jane Davis, The Reader’s Founder and Director, to read and explore Winterson’s ‘Why Be Happy W
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