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Meet the Volunteer: Kirti

Written by Lily Kehoe, 3rd June 2024

Name: Kirti  

Location: Croydon 

Role: Volunteer Reader Leader running a Shared Reading group 

Why did you decide to volunteer with The Reader?  

With Shared Reading the world is there for you to explore. I think that leading a group on a voluntary basis where you feel like you’re getting something back is very satisfying. I’m helping other people but getting something out of it myself as well. It feels effortless in a way, and it becomes second nature. Shared Reading is mutually rewarding. 

What do you love most about your volunteer role? 

One of the things I’ve taken away from my Shared Reading group is that I’m naturally asking more open questions. Everyone is free to explore the text in their own way, as the book or poem is for the whole group and not just for the person who suggested it. It’s a very graceful way of sharing, there’s no pressure. 

I always come out of the group thinking, ‘Oh wow’ and feeling like they are such a nice bunch of people. We say to each other: ‘Aren’t we lucky that we’ve got such a nice group’. We’re trying to make sure that everyone feels welcome to join too. 

Any insights or learnings you’ve gained about people, the world, literature, or yourself through your volunteering?  

Shared Reading and leading the group has taught me a few things in the rest of my life. For instance, sometimes you want to win an argument or a debate, but through Shared Reading you wonder if that’s so important. I’ve realised it’s more satisfying to come out of the group where everyone feels enlightened.  

The Reader's voluntary structure helps make it work as we become a group of advocates for Shared Reading. I was a manager initiating change in the workplace. I see Shared Reading as a way of making change, leading by example and feeling like I’m part of an organisation. It challenges me.  

If you would like to find out more about the volunteering opportunities including Read to Lead training roles available at The Reader please visit here. 

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