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Andy Burnham Headlines Shared Reading for Healthy Communities Conference

Written by Emma Walsh, 10th April 2013

Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Health Secretary, will be discussing ‘The Books that Built Me’ at The Reader's fourth annual national conference, Shared Reading for Healthy Communities, taking place at the British Library on Thursday 16 May.

A supporter of the organisation’s activities, Andy says:

“I have experienced The Reader's shared reading groups first-hand and have seen that it’s a brilliant way to bring people together and improve wellbeing in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. As an English graduate myself, I know how important literature is for helping us think about the world we live in and how we relate to others.

I am looking forward to talking to delegates at the Shared Reading for Healthy Communities conference about the impact books have had on my own life and how projects like this can help to create stronger, healthier communities.”

The conference will examine how The Reader's pioneering shared reading model addresses the need for social inclusion, meaningful activity and better health in the UK and beyond. Seminars will explore the development of shared reading projects across public and mental health, libraries, education, addiction recovery, and dementia care.

Other speakers at the conference include Professor Louis Appleby, National Clinical Director for Offender Health and Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, who will be discussing ‘Finding A New Language for Mental Health’.

There will be an evaluation session for the Reading in Secure Environments (RISE) pilot project, funded by Arts Council England, as well as the presentation of preliminary findings of a research study investigating the effects of shared reading on people suffering with chronic pain, and a report on poetry and brain-imaging.

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