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Finding Connection: Sharing stories and poems over the phone

by Khyle Deen. Published Mon 22 Jun 2020 16:14

As a community, we’re all continuing to adapt to a universal ‘new normal’, and for The Reader, this has meant finding new ways to keep people connected and reading together to reduce loneliness.

The Reader is a local charity and social enterprise that brings people together across the UK to share the experience of great literature. For the last 20 years, its work has helped to connect people, improve wellbeing, reduce social isolation and strengthen communities. 

Checking in with each other is more important now than ever, as enforced social distancing can have an adverse affect on mental health. To help combat this, The Reader has launched a new project called ‘Finding Connection’ which pairs volunteers with people for weekly telephone chats where they can share their memories of the local area and read together.

Volunteer Catherine said “I believe that the best relationships are made through shared experiences, that is, focusing in on one aspect of the text but allowing natural thoughts to flow into the conversation. I find it very rewarding and I recommend it to anyone who feels that s/he will enjoy the giving of poetry and being part of the shared experience.”

The Reader also has a whole host of online activities that are free and open to everyone, including a daily programme of recommended reads, video readings, online events -including family reads from the Storybarn - and online Shared Reading services that spread the connection, comfort and fellow feeling offered by great literature.

If you or somebody you know would benefit from this, please get in touch. Call 0151 729 2250 between the hours of 10am and 4pm, Monday – Friday or email coronavirus@thereader.org.uk and quote Finding Connection.


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