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What was The Reader doing there?

Written by The Reader, 7th October 2010

In response to yesterday's question:

Jane Davis was at the Conservative Party Conference to speak at a seminar which was launching the Citizens University, an idea developed by the Young Foundation as a novel way of providing citizens with the skills and confidence they need to help others. It's something that we were really keen to get involved in, so Jane spoke at the seminar about how TRO would offer short training courses to enable people to read aloud with others in their community. Jane said:

The Citizen’s University has the potential to change the way we all live, person by person; we’re delighted to be involved.

We lose more than 91 million working days a year to poor mental health, at a cost of £77 billion and its rising. At the same time levels of literacy are falling.

Reading aloud together develops good mental health, increases literacy, builds supportive communities and helps discover meaning: in workplaces, hospitals, dementia care homes, schools.

Later on that day, PM David Cameron mentioned the Citizens University in his speech:

Your country needs you. And today I want to tell you about the part we’ve all got to play, and the spirit that will take us through. It’s the spirit I saw in a group of NHS maternity nurses in my constituency who told me they wanted to form a co-op to use their own ideas and their nous to help new parents. It’s the spirit you see just down the road in Balsall Heath, where local residents’ street patrols have turned a no-go area into a place where people can once again feel safe. It’s the spirit that just today, has seen some of our leading social organisations come together to set up a new Citizen University, to help give people the skills they need to play a bigger part in society. It’s the spirit of activism, dynamism, people taking the initiative, working together to get things done.

More on our involvement with the Citizens University as the project develops.

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