Shared reading in Knowsley

Published on: Monday, 15-June-2015

Knowsley residents are being encouraged to discover the pleasure of sharing stories as a way to relax and unwind through one of the borough’s new shared reading groups.

Public Health Knowsley has commissioned the award winning The Reader Organisation (TRO) to start up the community based shared reading groups as informal, welcoming places to meet others and explore some of the world’s best storytelling and poetry. There’s no pressure to do anything other than sit back and listen as the group lead will read everything aloud for members to enjoy at their own pace.

The shared reading groups are weekly and open to everyone. There are also groups for people living with dementia and those close to them:

  • Book Break (all welcome), The Craig’s Community Centre, Tuesdays, 1pm to 2.30pm & Wednesdays, Halewood Library, 1pm to 2.30pm
  • Book at Breakfast (a group for people living with dementia and their carers), Huyton Library, Tuesdays, 10am to 11.30am & Thursdays, Prescot Library 10am to 11.30am

Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Shared reading groups are a great way to relax and unwind, whatever your reading ability. Everything is read aloud to you and there’s no pressure to join in. The groups make it possible for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to enjoy the great pleasure of books while helping improve social connection and self confidence along the way.”

One group member, commented:

“It’s been great this – a real boost. I haven’t looked at book in fifteen years...I’d forgotten what it feels like when you read something like this, the power of words I mean.”

The Knowsley scheme is also recruiting and developing a team of volunteers to read one to one with older people in local care homes. Volunteers will receive full training and support.

For more information about volunteering please contact Helen Wilson on 0780 7106 693 or helenwilson@thereader.org.uk. To take part in a shared reading session simply turn up to a group.