The Reader has curated an online world of the written word to help communities connect during the Coronavirus lockdown.
The Liverpool charity, which usually brings thousands of people together at Shared Reading groups in the community, is instead delivering a host of reading activities both online and on the phone while the pandemic continues.
The Reader at Home includes a public programme of recommended reads, video readings, online events and telephone and web-based Shared Reading services.
Online Shared Reading groups are meeting via Zoom and Skype, with sessions led by Reader staff and volunteers.
A Digital Shared Reading strand gives people the chance to enjoy a daily video reading or a live reading on Facebook, with the weekly schedule of events also encompassing Storybarn Live! aimed at young children and their families.
And people can also enjoy Shared Reading on the phone where they can listen to a book being read in a one-to-one call.
Meanwhile its Life Lines initiative offers activity packs designed to help organisations, such as care homes, VCSEs and health organisations, support the people they work with.
Volunteer, Dirk Uitterdijk, who runs a Shared Reading group in Wirral, has been reading with his group members over the phone during lockdown.
He said: “Doing Shared Reading over the phone has meant that the group has actually grown over the last few weeks and there are now 16 of us. For people who found it difficult to get to our regular sessions, reading together over the phone is the perfect solution.
“Shared Reading has given all of us a reason to be in regular contact while also enquiring about each other’s wellbeing during this challenging and often isolating time. There is still life with a capital ‘L’ to be found during these coronavirus days.”
Jane Davis (pictured above), founder and director at The Reader, added: “As we entered lockdown it became clear that there were three pressing needs arising from communities; the need for food; wellbeing support and for social connection.”
In addition, The Reader’s physical headquarters at Calderstones Mansion is being used to help the community with more than 1,600 meals prepared in the building’s kitchens to be sent out to vulnerable and isolated people.
For more information on The Reader at Home, visit the website HERE