Welcome to The Reader

We’re a national charity that wants to bring about a reading revolution so that everyone can experience and enjoy great literature, which we believe is a tool for helping humans survive and live well.

Everything we do – from our Shared Reading groups to our social enterprises, from our publications to The Reader Storybarn – creates lively, connected, warm communities by bringing people together and books to life.

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

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Volunteer with The Reader

The Reader is the home of Shared Reading. From our headquarters at Calderstones Park in Liverpool, we’re building a Reading Revolution that helps people to live well across the UK and beyond. This is only possible thanks to the warmth and dedication of volunteers.

Click the button below to find out more about volunteering at The Reader at Calderstones, or read on to find out how you could help bring Shared Reading to your local community.

Do you love reading? Could you share your pleasure in a great novel, play or poem? 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 with The Reader?

    • 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. 

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
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 your 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, joining gift includes 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.
  • 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

*Currently only available on tickets purchased in-person at The Reader Ice Cream Parlour

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