Skip navigation to main content

“Amazing things happen”: The Reader’s AGM 2015

Written by The Reader, 21st October 2015

Annual Report frontWhere would you find over 100 guests eating warming bowls of stew followed by scoops of ice cream, taking an exclusive tour of the North West's forthcoming interactive children's story centre and sharing poetry, laughs, bursts of emotion and gasps of recognition?

At the beginning of this week, we were delighted to welcome volunteers, commissioners, trustees, staff and many of our shared reading group members from around the country to our base at Calderstones Mansion for our 2015 AGM. Our third AGM to date at Calderstones, we gathered to celebrate a year of many highlights of shared reading activity - the written details of which can be found in our 2014-15 Annual Report. With the appearance of our special guests, we were able to tell some of those wonderful stories aloud.

Acting Chair of The Reader's Board of Trustees Kathy Doran started proceedings by arranging the board together, before the celebrations of another successful year of shared reading could begin. Once more, the breadth of our activity has grown in the past year but Jane brought us back to the heart of what we do by reading a poem that sums up the fundamentals of what happens in each and every one of our groups. It is our aim, Jane so aptly summarised with help from John Keats, for everyone within a group to find there their own space 'silent, upon a peak in Darien'.

Keats AGM poem

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer - Jane's choice of shared reading at the 2015 AGM

Our volunteers from across the UK shared their own stories about the projects they have been involved in - some for years, others for months, but all with real impacts to the communities they read with. From Liverpool to London, Somerset to North Wales, and reading with a wide range of people, including older people with dementia, library-goers and young people outside of an educational environment in their own homes, all of our volunteer representatives spoke movingly about the difference shared reading is making - in some cases, being nothing short of life-changing. This year's AGM marks our signing of the 125-year lease at Calderstones Mansion and we celebrated all that has happened at the Mansion so far, including the efforts of our Calderstones volunteers, who still get the chance to read in all of their various roles.

We were also joined by Vicci Tatton of Prinovis, our corporate social responsibility supporter, who told us more about how their staff are getting involved in bringing reading into the workplace, and one of our commissioners Richard Rodgers, Lead for Substance Misuse Services at Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust who explained how shared reading helps to "bring the pace of busy life down" for service users across the trust.

All in all, it was an evening full of inspiration - from the words of classic literature to the numbers of people we're reaching throughout the country, and most significantly, the stories of our group members. To quote Kathy Doran in her closing speech, "amazing things happen" when people come together to read - and we're looking forward to even more amazing things in the year ahead.

The Reader's Annual Report 2014-15 is now available to download from our website - discover more about our work in health, with young people and criminal justice settings, as well as many more highlights from 'a vintage year'.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Calderstones

We’re opening our doors for another year of Big Days Out

We're getting ready for another year of Big Days Out in 2022.   The Big Days Out programme is an…

Read more
Calderstones

Vote for The Reader in the LCR Culture & Creativity Awards

We're delighted to be finalists in the Liverpool City Region Culture & Creativity Awards! The Reader has made the final…

Read more
The Reader Bookshelf

The Storybarn selects… from The Reader Bookshelf

As part of our ongoing work exploring texts from The Reader Bookshelf, we've asked members of our Children & Young People…

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.